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Edmunds County Fire Still Being Investigated

May 11, 2011, 6:07 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Edmunds County Fire Still Being Investigated
IPSWICH, SD - The State Fire Marshal’s office is investigating a fire near Ipswich that destroyed a bar and restaurant.

Craven Corner burned to the ground early Wednesday morning.

A passerby spotted the fire and called it in around 5:30 a.m.  By the time firefighters arrived to the bar and restaurant five miles east of Ipswich, it was already engulfed in flames.

"There wasn't much we could do," fire chief Mike Heinz said.

Heinz says no one was in the building and fire had already spread through the entire attic.

Getting propane tanks away from the south side of the building was the main concern once they realized no one was inside. Firefighters sprayed the tanks with water as wind forced heat and flames toward them.

That's before they used equipment from a nearby elevator to move them.

"We got them out of the way and just kind of protect the surroundings," Heinz said.

"Well, of course the first reaction is, ‘Make sure everybody's OK.’  That's number one. And after that, it's consoling because there's not much we can do at this point," Joe Williams said.

Williams' sister manages the bar and restaurant. He says they put a lot of work into remodeling the place inside over the past few years. But now redone walls, floors and bars are gone.

"It's everything," Williams said. "They put their whole life and soul into it.  Blood, sweat and tears."

An investigation into what caused the fire was delayed Wednesday because the scene was still too hot. Someone with the Fire Marshal’s office plans to continue the investigation Thursday.
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