Fatal Angorstura Blast, Fire Remains Under Investigation

Photos courtesy Fall River County Herald-Star/Eric Boyd

     The South Dakota State Fire Marshal’s office is continuing to investigate the exact cause of an explosion and fire at a residence at Angostura Reservoir Dec 2nd that killed one person. 

      In addition to taking the life of 71-year old Deanna Hardin, the blast and fire about 2:00 PM in a housing development overlooking the lake at Shep’s Canyon destroyed the house, garage, and several vehicles.      

    Hot Springs Fire Chief Dar Coy said it was one of the most violent explosions with which he’s been involved. The garage doors were blown 60 feet away and people across the lake reported feeling and hearing the blast.

   67-year Diane Greer, who with Harding owned and occupied the home, told the Fall River County Journal Star that Harding had gone outside to go to Hot Springs when the explosion occurred, describing it as if a bomb went off.

     Greer said she ran outside to find the unattached garage had collapsed and was on fire. She said she could hear Harding calling for help, but couldn’t find her. She went back inside to call 911 and could still hear Harding when she returned but only for a few moments.

      Chief Coy says the fire had spread to the house by the time the first firefighters had arrived. Crews responded from not only Hot Springs but also the Edgemont, Cascade and Oelrichs VFDs, SD Wildland Fire Suppression, US Forest Service, and Fall River County – which provided a water tender.

     Greer said she and Harding had met 37 years ago when they worked together at the Post Office in Rapid City and found they had a lot in common. She said they both enjoyed fishing and boating, which took them to Angostura for many years. When Harding retired, they purchased the Shep’s Canyon site together and made it their permanent home.