Assistant Chief Killed in SD Fire, Explosion

Sept. 8, 2018
Sturgis Assistant Chief David Fischer and a resident were killed in the fire and subsquent propane tank explosion in Tildford.

Officials have identified the Sturgis firefighter and resident who were killed during an explosion and fire in Tilford Friday.

Responding firefighters from the Sturgis Volunteer Fire Department encountered heavy smoke while they were responding and found a single-family dwelling fully involved around 4 p.m., according to a statement from the South Dakota Local Assistance State Team (LAST) team. The intense flames ignited several outbuildings and threatened nearby program tanks.

Firefighters began attacking the fire when bystanders told responders that one resident was unaccounted for.

A catastrophic failure caused a Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion (BLEVE), and video captured by shows the massive explosion.

Assistant Fire Chief David Fischer, 43, was killed in the blast, according to the statement from the LAST team.

Fischer, who also worked with the the Sturgis Ambulance Service, served with the fire department for 22 years. He was also a member of the South Dakota National Guard's 82nd Civil Support Team.

Rapid City Fire Department Lt. Jim Bussell told the Rapid City Journal that a sheriff's deputy suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Firefighters searching the debris located the remains of resident Raymond Joseph Bachmeier, 82, around 8 a.m. Saturday.

Nearly 30 fire departments responded to the scene, officials said.

Several agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, South Dakota Fire Marshal's Office and the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation were summed to the scene to help with the investigation.

In a statement from the South Dakota LAST team, Sturgis Fire Chief Shawn asked that everyone keep the Sturgis and Tilford communities in their thoughts and prayers as the healing process begins.

Video from the press conference can be viewed below.

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