Fire totals garage

By Jason Ferguson

Firefighters from three departments responded to a garage fire last week on America Center Road. While the garage was a total loss, firefighters were able to contain the fire to the garage, thereby limiting damage to the surrounding area.

A garage and its contents were a total loss, but injury was avoided following a garage fire on America Center Road Oct. 29.

At around 4:50 p.m. that evening, the Custer Volunteer Fire Department received a call about a garage that had caught fire. The call came in when a neighbor to the property with the garage drove by and noticed the fire and subsequently notified the homeowner.

Firefighters arrived on scene shortly thereafter and saw the garage fully ingulfed in fire, at which time they attacked the exterior of the structure.

While battling the blaze, several explosions erupted from inside the garage, the cause of which are unknown, and the roof collapsed. After the roof collapsed, firefighters turned their attention to the things around the garage that could catch fire, said Custer Volunteer Fire Department assistant chief Bill Bell. A car under a carport, a storage shed, trees and other combustible materials nearby were among the concerns.

Firefighters were able to keep the fire contained to the garage, although the car nearby suffered slight damage from the heat. Fortunately, the wind took the embers and smoke from the home, which was not attached to the garage.

Bell said from arrival to cleanup and being ready for the next call, firefighters were on the scene for around five hours. The garage was a total loss and the cause of the fire was not determined.

The 10 Custer Volunteer Fire Department firefighters who responded were joined by two firefighters each from the Argyle and Pringle volunteer fire departments, which provided water support by hauling water to the scene from Boot Hill Ranch Estates. 

Also responding was the Custer County Sheriff’s Office, Custer Ambulance Service, Custer County Emergency Management and Black Hills Energy, which disconnected power to the garage.