How Colton community worked together to put out fire


COLTON, S.D. (KELO) — Matr’s Garage in Colton is a burned-out shell of its former self, and there’s extensive damage all over the building. It’s a big change from Tuesday. When crews arrived, smoke was pouring out of the gas station and garage.

The owner’s wife confirmed her husband was inside working when a spark caused the fire. At this time, the owner has declined on-camera interviews.

Thankfully, no one was hurt. The community is already pledging to help, and it played a big role in putting the fire out and making sure volunteer firefighters had some extra support.

It likely feels like a long day of solitary clean-up for the owner of Matr’s Garage. A day earlier, people in the Colton community were finding ways to work together to help each other out.

“We said, we can feed all the firefighters. So, that’s what we did,” Siera Hansen, assistant manager, Daybreak Express, said.

The Daybreak Express donated cases of water and 30 pizzas to the firefighters. Other businesses also made sure they were fed and well-hydrated.

“It’s a community thing. Just, whatever we can do to help,” Hansen said.

“It really lets you know people do care,” Jerrit Pedersen, assistant fire chief, said.

Helping hands spread beyond Colton. Pedersen says help from neighboring fire departments was crucial.

“To see all these people come together and all these resources in one spot and nobody got hurt. So, that’s a big deal,” Pedersen said.

Even spots you might not think about played a role in putting out the flames, like the community pool. Firefighters use water from the pool when the fire hydrants and water tower need backup.

“We have pre-planned spots where we go and get water when we have fires that reach this magnitude,” Pedersen said.

People we talked with in Colton say the owner of Matr’s isn’t alone, and they’ll do what they can to help. After all, supporting each other is a community effort.

“I think that’s why everybody lives in a small community, is people see a need and they just come out and do what they need to do,” Pedersen said.

“He’s fixed our car about three or four times. We’re rooting for him to get it going again,” Hansen said.

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