Restaurant alleyway fire undetermined

Small or not, when a fire starts in a major business or residential area, fire fighters stay ready with equipment until the signal is given to return to base.

At approximately 5 p.m. on June 8, smoke was detected from behind the restaurants on the northeast corner of South Pierre Street and Dakota Avenue.

The Pierre Volunteer Fire Department responded with five trucks and their crews. While police cars blocked that intersection and the intersection just to the east, and the alleyway between, firemen gathered at the entrance of the alley with charged hoses and other equipment.

Fire Capt. Cory Hoffrogge said the smoke came from plastic containers of most likely grease, which were inside cardboard boxes. That was put out quickly.

“It was behind the La Minestra and Gallos Mexican Restaurant in a weird ‘L’-shaped alley, a walkway,” Hoffrogge said. “We’re not really sure what ignited it and let it go as undetermined, and left it for the insurance company to determine if they want to.”

The firefighters found a bit of an extension with a hole in one of the buildings’ stucco exterior, where the fire got inside of an exterior wall. Crews used a K-12 circular saw to cut into the stucco so they could extinguish any flame or smoldering.

By 5:40 p.m. the fire, law enforcement, and ambulance crews were heading back to their bases.

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