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Fire destroys Lowe building

Fire fighters from four area communities fought flames and freezing temperatures Saturday, Jan. 9, as the former Lowe Clinic building was completely destroyed.
Mobridge firefighters were called to building at about 7:30 p.m. according to Mobridge Fire Chief Mitch Voller. He said when they arrived there was light smoke pooling in sections of the building. He said there was no fire in the attic, but the smoke was hanging there.
“We spent a lot of time searching for the source of the smoke,” he said. “There were two roofs on the building, which makes it tough on firefighters. The steel roofs are hard to cut through to get access and to vent the building.”
Voller said there were also two ceilings in the building: one was a drop ceiling and one was sheetrock. He said when firefighters began to tear down the sheetrock ceiling looking for the source of the fire, that is when the flames took off.
“There was not a lot that worked in our favor on this one,” said Voller. “There are power lines that are so close to the building it was a real safety concern. We had MDU cut power through those lines in case they burned through and dropped, they were dead lines.”
He said there was a two-block area around the scene that was without power for about three hours.
Although there are other buildings and businesses in close proximity to the Lowe building, Voller said he was not aware of any other building suffering damage from the fire. He said there was little wind, so the smoke went straight into the air, rather than being blown into other buildings.
The temperature dropped steadily throughout the night as the firefighters kept water flowing on the building. According to the National Weather Service, the temperature hit a low of -13 at 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 10.
Despite the below zero weather, no firefighters wereinjured.
“We had some nozzles freezing up because of the cold. That is part of the beast fighting this kind of fire in those conditions,” he said.
When asked if there had been any problems with water pressure or having enough water to fight the fire, he said there were absolutely no water pressure problems at anytime during the fire.
Voller said Mobridge business owners helped firefighters keep going through the night. Tara Kramer, owner of Gas N Goodies kept her building open for the fire fighters to use the bathrooms and to warm up throughout the night. Voller said Rick Christman brought food and coffee to the scene to help keep the crews fed and warmed.
“Thanks to everyone who lent a hand,” said Voller. “The emergency responders did a great job and law enforcement kept the area clear.”
Voller said he wanted to remind the public that when an event like this occurs, many people want to see what is going on. Sometimes they hinder emergency crews from being able to do their jobs.
“We just want to remind the public to stay back and give us room to do our jobs,” he said.
One business in the building, the recently opened Peanut Gallery, was a total loss and one family of three, living in an apartment in the building, lost everything in the fire.
– Katie Zerr –

Fire destroyed the former Lowe Clinic on West Grand Crossing on Saturday, Jan. 9. The fire was reported at 7:30 p.m. Firefighters from Mobridge, Selby, Glenham and Java battled the blaze until early Sunday morning.

Fire destroyed the former Lowe Clinic on West Grand Crossing on Saturday, Jan. 9. The fire was reported at 7:30 p.m. Firefighters from Mobridge, Selby, Glenham and Java battled the blaze until early Sunday morning.