Firefighters battle Saturday night blaze at Sylvan Lake Lodge in Black Hills

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A Saturday night fire caused severe damage to Sylvan Lodge near Custer.
A Saturday night fire caused severe damage to Sylvan Lodge near Custer.

CUSTER — Numerous fire departments and other agencies worked through the night Saturday to put out a fire at a popular 85-year-old lodge in the Black Hills.

Specific details about the condition of Sylvan Lake Lodge in Custer State Park were not available Sunday, but there was significant damage.

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries, but no civilians or domestic animals were hurt, according to a news release from the Customer Volunteer Fire Department.

The stone-and-timber lodge was built in 1937, funded in part through Depression-era New Deal programs. A wing of additional rooms 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 U.S. east of the Rockies, according to the lodge’s website.

Alarms initially went off in the southeastern part of the building, according to the release. Freezing temperatures, narrow roads covered with ice and snow and darkness added to the difficulty of dealing with the blaze.

A Saturday night fire caused severe damage to Sylvan Lodge near Custer.
A Saturday night fire caused severe damage to Sylvan Lodge near Custer.

Authorities asked people to steer clear of the area where Custer firefighters said on social media that a massive cleanup effort is required.

The fire was reported at 6:43 p.m. Saturday, according to the release. The lodge is at 24572 state Highway 87 in Custer County.

"First arriving firefighters found a free-burning fire with a moderate to heavy smoke condition in the interior of a large, multi-story hotel with fire extending to the exterior and roof assembly of the structure," according to the release.

Other responding agencies included Custer County Communications, the Custer County Sheriff’s Office, Battle Creek Fire Department, the 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 Department, Custer Ambulance service, Custer County Emergency Management, Custer County Search and Rescue, Hill City Volunteer Fire Department, Doty Volunteer Fire Department, Rapid Valley Volunteer Fire Department, North Haines Volunteer Fire Department, Whispering Pines Volunteer Fire Department, Black Hawk Volunteer Fire Department, Johnson Siding Volunteer Fire Department, Newcastle Volunteer Fire Department, Battle Mountain Hot Springs Veterans Affairs Fire Department, the South Dakota Highway Patrol, the South Dakota Department of Transportation and the South Dakota Fire Marshals' Office.

Sylvan Lake Lodge was badly damaged in a Saturday night fire.
Sylvan Lake Lodge was badly damaged in a Saturday night fire.

Scott Waltman contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on Aberdeen News: A fire badly damaged Sylvan Lake Lodge in Black Hills, South Dakota

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