BROOKINGS – A storage shed fire that spread into a nearby mobile home was doused Saturday afternoon by firefighters at Broadacre Mobile Home Park in Brookings – and it’s being called suspicious by the Brookings Police Department.
The blaze was reported at 120 Second St. S. No. 1 at approximately 2:49 p.m., according to a news release from the Brookings Fire Department. Two engines and 15 personnel battled the blaze, which fully engulfed the storage shed shortly after the response team arrived. Due to the shed’s close proximity and wind gusts exceeding 25 mph, the adjacent mobile home also became involved in the fire.
Several surrounding residences also sustained heat damage to the outside of the structures, according to a news release from the BPD, which also noted that total damage from the incident is estimated at $40,000.
The fire is thought to have started outside the storage shed under suspicious circumstances, Detective Adam Smith wrote in the BPD release, adding that no injuries were reported. During the investigation, several other areas were identified where small grass fires had been started.
Regarding the fire itself, firefighters initiated a defensive attack on the storage shed and the exterior of the mobile home and then transitioned to an interior offensive strategy in the burning mobile home, Fire Chief Pete Bolzer wrote in the BFD release.
Due to immense radiant heat and the prolonged attack on the fire, additional personnel were requested from the Volga Fire Department at approximately 3:30 p.m. The additional firefighters were requested to allow personnel an adequate chance for rehab to reduce illness and injury. Units remained at the scene until 5:20 p.m., Bolzer reported.
On Sunday, residents in the area of the fire contacted law enforcement about some juveniles possibly playing with a lighter in the area, according to Smith, but the juveniles fled before officers could make contact with them.
Smith wrote that suspects have been identified and the fires are under investigation. He added that no arrests had been made as of Monday morning.
“I would want to remind people if they see something suspicious to contact law enforcement,” Smith said. “Also, if anyone has any information regarding this incident they can contact the police department or submit a tip anonymously using Crime Stoppers at 605-692-STOP, using the P3 app, or online at brookingsareacrimestoppers.com.”
Bolzer added that assistance was also provided by Brookings Ambulance. One firefighter was examined by ambulance personnel for a possible heat-related issue and was cleared to return to duty.
Residents affected by the fire are being assisted by the property owner and Red Cross.