COLTON, S.D. (KELO) – A Colton couple is picking up the pieces after a fire tore through their business. No one was hurt but the fire burned for hours and the damage is extensive.
Crews from several southeast South Dakota towns responded. When KELOLAND News arrived on scene, the smoke was pouring out of the gas station and garage.
The call came in a little after 9 am. Even an hour later, the fire was still burning strong.
The owner’s wife didn’t want to talk on camera but she told me her husband was working inside when a spark caused the business to erupt into flames.
Black smoke filled the air as flames shot out from the ceiling of Matr’s Garage.
“Now some of the flames are visible so it’s possible that it reached onto the outside of the building from the attic from the inside,” Minnehaha County Sheriff’s deputy Scott Dubbe said.
More than a half a dozen fire crews worked relentlessly to save the repair shop.
“As the fire’s getting put out you can see the smoke is drifting off towards the west into the neighborhoods. I don’t foresee that impacting any houses directly other than we’re just trying to get folks out of the way from the smoke that comes toward them,” Dubbe said.
With such persistent flames, the teams brought in a ladder truck to try to control the fire.
“Anytime we can get some water coming off from above, especially when the fire was coming out of the roof like it was, and we’re in a defensive mode, it helps to have a ladder truck around,” Colton Fire Department Chief Jon Randby said.
Once the fire is out, the work continues.
“We’re in a holding pattern right now. We’re not letting anyone into the building. There’s a lot of hot spots in there; there’s a lot of hidden areas. The roof has come down, so we’re just kind of a waiting game right now,” Randby said.
The fire was contained to the station side of the building where crews worked into the evening to put out some hot spots.
“I can’t thank each and every one of them enough. They’re taking off from work; we volunteer to do this. Every one of us out here loves to do it, but it is a sacrifice, and I can’t thank these guys enough,” Randby said.
Fire crews were able to get the owner’s truck out of the building, but most of the business was damaged by either fire, smoke or water.
Speaking of water, crews turned to the local pool for help. You can read that story on KELOLAND.com.