Devastating fire destroys four businesses in downtown Hot Springs

Local News

HOT SPRINGS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s been a long day for fire crews in Hot Springs where a massive fire destroyed four businesses along North River Street. Several agencies spent most of the day containing the fire.

The Vault, the China Buffet, Gus’ Best Ice Cream, and Heartsong Quilts were destroyed by a massive fire in downtown Hot Springs.

“This town is everything to us, it’s our home and that became our home for the last year, it became a spot where we could give back to the community and give back to kids and it’s just gone, it’s just gone,” Greg Gunwall, co-owner of The Vault, said.

Over a hundred firefighters from a three county area were assigned to the fire here in Hot Springs. They have been working since 8:30 p.m. Monday night.

“We realized early on that we had more fire than we could handle. I had 26 people from my department respond but we still knew we were going to run out of gas with our people so we made a call to our neighbors,” Chief Dar Coy, Fire Chief of Hot Springs Volunteer Fire Dept., said.

A total of 17 different fire departments and crews from surrounding areas are working to keep what is left of the fire, under control.

“We still got a lot of work to do in overhaul and cleanup and things like that. We are actually standing on a state highway so we got to figure out how to get the highway back open at some time,” Chief Car said.

“First of all, we are devastated that this is the very hub of our downtown businesses in this area, and to lose these businesses is very devastating. And one of the family’s lost their home,” Mayor Kotti said.

Hot Springs Mayor, George Kotti, says he is grateful for the crews that worked through the night.

“It’s good to live in an area where neighbors help each other out,” Mayor Kotti said.

The Vault owners say they are in shock of everything that has happened and are not sure what they will do next.

“It gave us an opportunity to do more for the community and it’s gone, I mean, it just doesn’t seem right,” Kristine Bogner, co-owner of The Vault, said.

No one was injured in the fire. The cause is currently under investigation.

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