HOT SPRINGS, S.D. (AP) – Hot Springs Mayor George Kotti says four businesses in the city’s downtown historic district were destroyed in a fire last night.
There were no injuries from the blaze in the sandstone facade 300 block of River Street that claimed The Vault restaurant, China Buffet, Gus’ Best Ice Cream, and Heartsong Quilts as well as apartments attached to the quilt shop..
Fall River Emergency Management.Director Frank Maynard says the fire began in The Vault and spread from there with the first fire call going out about 8:30. Multiple agencies responded, and the South Dakota Fire Marshal’s office has been called in to investigate the massive fire.
More than 50 first responders from area communities aided the Hot Springs VFD in keeping the fire from spreading further and igniting propane tanks in the rear of the businesses.
Firefighters remained on the scene throughout the night and well into the day, assisted by, among others, volunteers from the Pennington County Fire Assistance Team.
The owners of The Vault posted this message on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “Please keep everyone in your prayers tonight. Thank you firefighters for all that you do. It’s been a devastating night. Kris and I are ok. Please keep the families of China House and the Quilt Shop in your thoughts and prayers.”
Mayor Kotti told The Associated Press he talked to one of the business owners who said he plans to rebuild. Kotti said that epitomizes the way we want to face this.”