Residents in Rapid City have lost both their firehall and town office after a fire razed the building they shared.
It broke out just after 12 a.m. Monday in the community, located about 40 kilometres north of Brandon.
Volunteer firefighter Doug Finlay said he felt helpless to stop the blaze as all of his equipment was inside the burning building.
“Usually if we do have to call mutual aid, we’re able to at least fight it until they get there and do something, but this time all we could do is stand back and watch it go,” said Finlay.
Now, surrounding areas will have to cover the area for at least the next few days.
“We’ve lost the fire department,” said Finlay. “The worst feeling for us now is that we’ve got a big area here with absolutely nothing for fire or medical coverage.
"It's a tremendously big loss," said Mayor Orest Woloski, noting firefighters from the towns of Minnedosa and Rivers rushed to the scene.
"But by this time it was too far gone."
The town bought two firetrucks recently and both were lost in the fire, Woloski said.
"We saved a rescue wagon — one of our firefighters was brave enough and and probably crazy enough to turn around and go and get it out … but the two trucks were burnt," he said.
No one was hurt in the blaze.
The cause of the fire was determined to be electrical but damage estimates have not yet been released.
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