Fire at Wrangler causes extensive smoke damage
– By Katie Zerr
Mobridge emergency agencies were called to a fire at the Wrangler Inn Friday, Jan. 3, after employees in the kitchen noticed smoke.
According to hotel staff at the scene, employees in the kitchen and the lounge area reported smoke at about 6:15 p.m.
The restaurant and lounge area are located on the second floor of the building. Staff discovered thick smoke in a second floor hallway on the south side of the building and owner Jeff Jackson discovered a fire under the staircase in the southeast corner of the building.
According to Mobridge Fire Chief Brad Milliken, the staff at the Wrangler had evacuated the building before the fire department arrived on the scene. He said the fire started in a linen supply area and was contained to the area of the stairway. No one was injured in the incident.
“What damage there was mostly smoke damage which was extensive,” he said. “Some carpet burned, but it was linens and some chairs being stored there.”
Jackson said there was little structural damage because the stairway is made of building construction.
Jackson said on Tuesday that there are currently cleaning crews on site working long hours getting as the much of the building ready as possible for the ice-fishing tournament this weekend.
“Marie and I talked about it and decided this is such a big event for Mobridge and our priority should be getting as many rooms as ready as possible,” he said. “We hope to have 25 to 29 out of the 35 rooms ready for the weekend.”
The restaurant and lounge, however, will not beready to re-open.
Jackson said the community has been very supportive.
“We have had calls from the community offering rooms in their homes,” he said. “We have been able to get rooms for some of the fisherman at other locations. They have been very understanding of the situation.”
Jackson said the smoke damage was extensive s the heavy smoke gathered on the second floor which houses rooms and the restaurant, kitchen and lounge. He said the ceiling tiles and tracks needed replacing along with some room linens.
A dollar amount of damage has not been determined as of yet.
The Mobridge Volunteer Fire Department, Mobridge Police, Glenham Fire Department and the Mobridge Ambulance Service responded to the fire.