LAKE NORDEN, S.D. (KELO) — It’s a long road to recovery for Lake Norden after a fire claimed their public safety building earlier this year.
Lake Norden lost the building that housed their fire hall, ambulances, and police department to an electrical fire this past May.
“So early in the morning, our fire hall caught fire. Our fire whistle couldn’t go off. You know, ironically, when your firehouse burns, the fire whistle in Lake Norden couldn’t go off,” says President of the governing board of the Lake Norden Ambulance District Rusty Antonen.
The town lost all four of its fire trucks, its two ambulances, and everything inside the building.
“We were only without an ambulance for 24 hours. And then we received a loner. The ambulance from Sioux Falls that we used for a month. So we have slowly rebuilt our squads and equipment,” says Lake Norden Ambulance Squad President Christine Smith.
However, the rebuilding process is more difficult than expected.
“You think you’re insured well, but when it comes to equipment like that, especially in these times when inflation is, it’s so hard that it’s hard to replace what you had. So the fire department is struggling with that a little bit, too, but we’ll get through it,” says Antonen.
The rebuilding is underway but with the 300 square miles the Ambulance District covers, the sooner, the better.
While the community has done a great job supporting it, the Lake Norden Ambulance District still needs around $50,000 to get the supplies they need.
“We service basically the western half of Hamlin County all the way west over to Willow Lake, north to the Codington County line, which is north of Hazel and then south of Lake Norden, and then east over to 81 or to Castlewood and Estelline,” says Antonen.
The community has helped raise over $40,000 for expenses that insurance doesn’t cover. There is a donation account set up at the First PREMIER Bank in Lake Norden if you would like to donate.