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Fire strikes Sylvan Lake Lodge in Custer State Park

The Custer Volunteer Fire Department and numerous other fire departments responded Saturday evening to a structure fire that damaged part of the Sylvan Lake Lodge in Custer State Park.

Firefighters encountered a "free-burning fire" on arrival, the Custer department said in a news release. There was moderate to heavy smoke and fire extending up to the roof.

Freezing temperatures, narrow roads covered with ice and snow, and darkness made the job of fighting the fire difficult, but firefighters prevented the fire from spreading to other structures.

Authorities asked people to steer clear of the area so that firefighting and cleanup efforts could continue unimpeded.

Sylvan Lake Lodge responding agencies
News release
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Custer Volunteer Fire Department

On Sunday morning, the Custer Volunteer Fire Department said on Facebook that firefighters battled the blaze all night, and a massive cleanup effort would be required. The department continued to ask people to avoid the area due to heavy truck traffic.

The department said two firefighters received minor injuries, but there were no other reports of injuries or deaths. Photos posted to social media by the department showed most of the lodge still intact but a portion of it badly damaged.

The stone-and-timber lodge was built in 1937, and a wing of additional rooms was added in 1991. Thirty-one cabins are nearby, all within close access to Sylvan Lake.

No information is publicly available yet on the cause of the fire.