LEAD — A man suffered serious, life-threatening injuries, while several other tenants were displaced after a major fire burned an apartment building to the ground in Lead.
At 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning crews from Thyssen Mining Company observed the fire at 104 South Stone St.
Rob Carr, public relations officer for the Lead Volunteer Fire Department, said employees who were in the newly constructed dry facility next door, rushed into the apartments to evacuate residents. They pulled Mike Larson, who had become disoriented from the smoke in his apartment, out of the blaze. Employees from the Thyssen Mining offices on Main Street called the fire in to authorities.
Larson was transported to Lead-Deadwood Monument Health Hospital with serious, life-threatening second- and third-degree burns to his hands, arms, face and back, according to family updates provided on a Caring Bridge site. He was later transported by LifeFlight to Northern Colorado Medical Center in Greeley, Colo., where he remains in the burn unit for treatments. Family members say he could be there for a month or more for treatments.
On Monday morning, Larson’s sister Liz Fonder reported that Larson remains in critical condition. A Venmo account has been established to help the family with expenses in Greeley while he is being treated. That Venmo address is @Laurie-Kruse-4.
When crews from the Lead Fire Department arrived on scene the fire was burning freely, with heavy smoke. Crews from 12 area fire departments battled the blaze for several hours on Saturday, before the building was taken down to extinguish flames. Lead Fire Chief Tim Eggers said crews actively fought the fire until 4 p.m. After that they sent a truck back to put water on some hot spots.
Eggers said the fire started in a room at the basement level, and traveled quickly upstairs.
“We had to use an excavator to get into where the fire was at because it was not in the rooms, it was in the walls and the floors,” Eggers said.
The state fire marshal is investigating the cause.
The Lead-Deadwood Ministerial Association and the Red Cross serving Central and Western South Dakota are assisting occupants of the building. Eggers said the Red Cross reported that
Agencies responding to the fire include the Lead and Deadwood Volunteer Fire Department, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, Monument Lead-Deadwood Ambulance Service, Lead Police Department, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, Lawrence County 911, Spearfish Canyon Volunteer Fire Department, Sturgis Volunteer Fire Department, Brownsville Volunteer Fire Department, Whitewood Volunteer Fire Department, Whitewood Fire Department Auxiliary Pennington County 911, North Haines Volunteer Fire Department, Rapid Valley Volunteer Fire Department, Black Hawk Fire Corps, Black Hawk Volunteer Fire Department, Johnson Siding Volunteer Fire Department, Black Hill’s Energy, Montana Dakota Utilities, South Dakota Fire Marshalls Office, the Red Cross Serving Central and Western South Dakota, Local neighbors and members of the community, city of Lead Street and Water Department, Thyssen Mining Corporation and Gardner Construction.
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