Fire severely damaged Sylvan Lake Lodge in Black Hills, South Dakota
CUSTER – Numerous fire departments and other agencies worked through Saturday night to put out a fire at a popular 85-year-old lodge in the Black Hills.
Specific details on the condition of Sylvan Lake Lodge in Custer State Park were not available on Sunday, but there was significant damage.
Two firefighters sustained minor injuries, but no civilians or pets were injured, according to a press release from the customer arson service.
The stone and timber pavilion was built in 1937, funded in part by the Depression-era New Deal programs. An additional bedroom wing was added in 1991. The original Sylvan Lake Hotel was a stopping point for adventurers looking to climb Black Elk Peak, the highest point in the United States east of the Rockies, according to the lodge website.
The alarms were first triggered in the southeastern part of the building, the statement said. Frigid temperatures, narrow roads covered in ice and snow, and darkness added to the difficulty of dealing with the blaze.
Authorities have asked people to avoid the area where Custer firefighters have said on social media that a massive cleanup effort is needed.
The fire was reported at 6:43 p.m. on Saturday, the statement said. The lodge is located at 24572 State Highway 87 in Custer County.
“The first firefighters to arrive discovered a free-burning fire with moderate to heavy smoke inside a large multi-story hotel with a fire extending to the exterior and to the roof assembly of the structure. “, according to the press release.
Other organizations that responded included Custer County Communications, Custer County Sheriff’s Office, Battle Creek Fire Department, South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Commission, Custer State Park Management, Pennington County 911, Fairburn Volunteer Fire Department, Pringle Volunteer Fire Department, Argyle Volunteer Fire Service, Custer Ambulance Service, Custer County Emergency Management, Custer County Search and Rescue, Hill City Volunteer Fire Department, Fire Department Doty Volunteer, Rapid Valley Volunteer Fire Department, North Haines Volunteer Fire Department, Whispering Pines Volunteer Fire Department, Black Hawk Service Volunteer Fire Department, Johnson Siding Volunteer Fire Department, Newcastle Volunteer Fire Department, Battle Mountain Hot Springs Veterans Affairs Fire Department, South Dakota Highway Patrol, South Dakota Department of Transportation and South Dakota Fire Marshal s’ Office.
Scott Waltman contributed to this report.