Rapid City Fire Crews respond to 6 fires since the beginning of the year

Local News

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Firefighters in Rapid City are off to a busy January. With 6 fires under their belt, they hope this isn’t a trend for the rest of the year.

Call after call, these men and women are working hard.

“It’s been very busy around here. As you can see the guys and gals are going in and out all the time, just a steady call volume,” Povandra said.

Rapid City Division Chief Brian Povandra says in 2021 the department saw a record number of calls.

“This year has been starting out kind of along that same path. Within the past 5 days we’ve been on 6 fires,” Povandra said.

Firefighter Andrew Rasmussen says it’s a tough time of year to fight fires.

There are a number of issues first-responders face when fighting fire in cold weather. Including freezing water, freezing equipment and slick roads.

“It’s just a super unfortunate situation because obviously we are putting our guys in danger that are in these frigid temperatures. And when we go to a structure fire it’s not 15 minutes, it’s usually hours,” Rasmussen said.

To avoid situations like this, Rasmussen urges everyone to be smart when heating their homes. Never leave your oven or fireplace on unattended. And make sure your home is properly insulated.

“In these temperatures we just have to make sure we get it all out. When things are frozen, it’s hard to make sure that everything is actually out. So it makes everything a lot harder,” Rasmussen said.

After fighting fire in freezing temperatures, crews have to come back to the station and clean equipment for hours.

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