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Yankton Restaurant Feeds, Warms Fire Crews

March 4, 2014, 5:55 PM by Jared Ransom

Yankton Restaurant Feeds, Warms Fire Crews
YANKTON, SD -

A motel in Yankton didn't stand a chance against the power of fire, but firefighters still did their best to battle the flames. A neighboring restaurant could only stand and watch.

"I got a phone call at 1:30 from one of my managers telling me that the Colonial Inn was on fire and I should come check it out because obviously the store's right next door," Yankton Pizza Ranch GM Andrea Plautz said.

Once she got to the restaurant, her first thought wasn't about the flames, but about the firefighters themselves. She put her entire staff to work.

"We came in and we started making pizzas and chicken and pots of coffee for the firefighters because we knew that they'd be cold and need some warmth and some food," Plautz said.

The Yankton fire crew enjoyed eight pots of coffee, 10 pizzas and over 40 pieces of chicken, all while staying warm indoors.

"It's great to have that place where we can get out and get in, warm up and have something hot to drink instead of staying out in the cold because it was like seven degrees," Yankton Deputy Fire Chief Larry Nickles said.

Everyone who walked into the Pizza Ranch was covered in soot and ice with parts of their equipment frozen to their bodies.

"When you see things like that, it's like, they go through so much to save you and that's when it really hits you," Plautz said.

This act of kindness is not unusual for cities like Yankton, where the appreciation for their work runs deep in the community.

"We've had a couple other businesses donate donuts and stuff like that in some of our cold fires, and the rough thing about being out on some of the fires is not having a place to go in to enjoy it," Nickles said.

"Part of our mission is to positively impact the world in which we live, and that's pretty well grounded into our hearts and our souls and that's why people like us work here and that's what we do," Plautz said.

A sign in Yankton saying "Thank You, Fire Fighters" has been hanging outside a neighboring restaurant since 2012, and the restaurant owner refuses to take it down in support of the crews who battle these dangerous fires.

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