Tag Archives: South Dakota

Sioux Falls, SD – Sprinkler system keeps arson fire set outside building from spreading inside

Police have arrested a man in connection to a fire that destroyed two porta potties in downtown Sioux Falls.  Forty-eight-year-old Aaron Gruenewald was arrested Thursday morning.  Firefighters extinguished a blaze at the new Washington Square Complex early Thursday morning. No one was hurt, but two porta potties were destroyed.

Police say surveillance video showed a man walking into one of the porta potties, then the fire broke out shortly after he walked away.  Gruenewald was found a few blocks away. Police say he had a lighter in his possession. He faces one count of reckless burning and intentional damage to property.

Original Story

No one was hurt, but two porta potties were destroyed in an overnight fire in downtown Sioux Falls.  The fire broke out around 1:20 a.m. at the new Washington Square complex on Main Avenue.  According to Sioux Falls Fire Rescue, a porta potty near the entrance to the first floor garage caught fire. The building’s sprinkler system was able to stop the flames from spreading. Firefighters put out the blaze a few minutes after arriving.  No one was hurt in the fire. The fire triggered the building’s alarm system, and residents had to wait outside on a rainy night for about 15 minutes.

Firefighters did not find any damage to the building, though two porta potties were destroyed.  The cause is still under investigation.

Rapid City, SD – Fire at Ramada hotel suppressed by automatic sprinkler system

A sprinkler system helped quell a fire Thursday afternoon in the kitchen area of the Ramada Rapid City on North Lacrosse Street. Rapid City firefighters responded to reports of flames coming from the kitchen just after 2 p.m. A preliminary check indicated that the fire was not ignited by a cooking appliance, according to Lt. Jim Bussell of the Rapid City Fire Department.  “The fire was knocked down by the sprinkler system when we arrived,” Bussell said. “It sounds like the sprinkler system did its job, and it’s a really good example of why we are very much advocates for fire sprinkler protection.”  He said fire crews were clearing the kitchen and lobby area of residual smoke and shutting down the sprinkler. The hotel convention center complex was evacuated, with no reports of injuries to staff, guests or firefighters.

Watertown, SD – Sprinkler system contains early morning fire at manufacturing facility

Watertown Fire Rescue crews responded to an early morning fire at the Terex-FGI manufacturing plant located at 2813 Piper Avenue on Tuesday morning.  WFR was called to the Terex plant at approximately 5 a.m. Tuesday morning after a fire had been reported inside the building. After all employees safely vacated the building, WFR crews were able to extinguish flames in one of the walls. The sprinkler system had activated and was key to keeping the fire contained to a minimal area.

Smoke and water damage to the building was extensive.  “It wasn’t your typical day for Watertown Fire Rescue,” Assistant Chief Don Rowland said Tuesday morning. “We usually don’t respond to three structure fires in one day.”  Rowland said crews were on scene for about two hours. He said there was a lot of smoke in the building and power was shut off to some parts of the plant. He wasn’t sure when Terex employees would be able to return to work but was hopeful it wouldn’t take too long. According to Rowland, the initial cause of the fire was a furnace in the wall. He did say the investigation into what caused the fire would be started this morning.

Sioux Falls, SD – Sprinkler system prevents apartment fire from spreading

A sprinkler system liked prevented more widespread fire damage to a downtown Sioux Falls apartment building. Firefighters responded to a fire alarm at the Huey Apartment Building at 112 N. Phillips Avenue Thursday night. When they went inside, they found water coming from an upper floor and found smoke on the third floor. They found heavy smoke in one apartment, but the fire had been extinguished by the sprinkler system. No one was in the apartment at the time of the fire.

Crews evacuated the building and took some displaced residents to the downtown Holiday Inn to keep them out of the cold. There is light smoke damage on the floor of the fire, as well as water damage in the apartment below. Six apartments in the building have damage. Sioux Falls Fire Rescue’s Fire Prevention division is investigating the cause of the fire.

Rapid City, SD – Single sprinkler holds apartment fire in check; No injuries

A fire sprinkler is being credited for saving a Rapid City apartment building this morning.Thursday, you couldn’t really tell that there was a fire in the building on the 400 block of Bernice Street early Thursday morning.  Fire crews could see smoke coming from the 3rd floor of the apartment, near Elk Vale Road.  Three stations responded, but crews only needed to use a fire extinguisher to put out the fire.  That’s because a single sprinkler head in the apartment kept the fire in check and limiting the damage.  Nobody was hurt and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Rapid City, SD – Fire at Safeway store held in check by sprinkler system; Store opens next day

According to a release from the Rapid City Fire Department, firefighters were summoned about 5:44 a.m. on Christmas Day to a fire alarm at the Safeway store, at 2120 Mount Rushmore Road. A fire in the deli area had activated two sprinkler heads, which kept the fire down until firefighters could douse the flames.

Some produce had to be discarded because of smoke exposure, and Oliver White, the department’s spokesman, said there was a small amount of water damage, but he added that the sprinklers were effective in keeping the small fire from spreading. The store was able to open the next day.

Rapid City, SD – Sprinkler stops fire on apartment balcony from spreading into unit

A Saturday fire that started on an apartment unit’s balcony was stopped almost completely before it entered the unit, thanks to a sprinkler that activated in a bedroom.

According to a press release from the Rapid City Fire Department, at 12:34 p.m. Saturday, firefighters went to the Homestead Garden Apartments at 4831 Homestead St.

Everything on the balcony was damaged, the release said, the windows between the balcony and bedroom were broken, and the window blinds were melted.

But the sprinkler in the bedroom doused the fire before it could cause more damage, and there were no injuries. No cause had been determined as of late Monday afternoon.

Rapid City, SD – Apartment deck fire extinguished by sprinkler system

The Rapid City Fire Department is crediting an apartment complex’s sprinkler system with rapidly extinguishing a noon Sunday fire that could have spread to other parts of the building.  According to a release from the department, firefighters went to a fire on an apartment unit’s deck at 2871 Belgrade Blvd., Rapid City.

A single heat-activated sprinkler head put out the fire. There were no injuries, and the cause of the fire is under investigation.  In the release, Oliver White, the department’s spokesman, wrote: “Here we see a fire that easily could have spread into the building, but it didn’t.”

Pierre, SD – Hotel boiler room fire extinguished by sprinkler system

The Pierre Fire Department spent about an hour at the Clubhouse Inn and Suites early this morning after fire alarms sounded in the building around 1:30 a.m.  Pierre Fire Chief Ian Paul says when firefighters arrived at the hotel, light smoke was noted in a boiler room near the pool area on the building’s main floor. 

Paul says a small fire had occurred and that produced enough heat to trip the fire sprinkler suppression system.  Paul credits the system with putting the fire out before it spread.  Guests were temporarily evacuated into the hotel’s lobby until it was determined the fire was completely extinguished.

Paul says he doesn’t have an estimate of damage to the boiler and says water damage from the sprinkler system was confined to the area near the fire and was not extensive.  Firefighters remained at the hotel for a time to make sure the fire was completely out.  As for the cause, Paul says it appears to have been an electrical malfunction in the unit, but says the establishment’s insurance company will investigate further.

Rapid City, SD – Sprinklers help contain arson fire at detox center

No one was hurt in a fire at a detox center in Rapid City that prompted the evacuation of more than 50 people and the arrest of a client.

Authorities responded to the City/County Alcohol and Drug Program facility shortly before noon Wednesday. The building’s sprinkler system had helped contain the fire, and it was confined to a small area.

Thirty-six clients and 15 staff members were evacuated for a time.
Police determined that a client had set the fire in an isolation room. The suspect was taken into custody pending formal charges.