SPEARFISH, SD – The Spearfish Fire Department put out a fire in the basement of Steerfish Steak and Smoke on Monday evening.
The department was paged out at approximately 6:05 p.m., responding to a report about a fire in the restaurant’s basement. Upon arrival, fire units saw smoke coming from the kitchen area out the back door, Fire Chief Travis Ladson explained. They learned that the fire was contained in a dryer unit in a laundry room area of the basement. Steerfish employees had used a fire extinguisher to initially knock down the flames, with firefighters fully extinguishing the fire. They then used the kitchen oven hoods and back door to ventilate smoke from the building.
Ladson explained that the fire was caused by greasy, oily rags that had been washed in the washing machine and then placed in the dryer.
“Sometimes greasy, oily rags need to be washed more than once,” Ladson said, explaining that the combination of oxygen, fuel, and heat will cause items to combust. “Be very careful when dealing with oily rags – even when they are wet, they can combust, given the right conditions.”
Ladson praised the employees of Steerfish for their quick reaction to the fire.
“Steerfish did a great job getting everyone out of the restaurant,” he said.
There were no injuries, and the damage is estimated to be about $3,500 for cleaning and replacement of the dryer.
Four engines, two command staff vehicles, and approximately 25 firefighters responded to the call.
Photo caption: Pictured is the dryer that caught on fire Monday in the basement of the Steerfish Steak and Smoke restaurant in Spearfish. Photo courtesy of Spearfish Fire Department