Fire destroys mobile home in Salem

Structure is a total loss, fire chief says

Police lights. (Republic file photo)
Police lights. (Republic file photo)

SALEM — A Thursday afternoon fire destroyed a mobile home in Salem.

Nathan Olinger, chief of the Salem Volunteer Fire Department, said the emergency call came in at about 12:44 p.m. One end of the structure, located at 101 N. Hill Street, was burning when responders first arrived on the scene.

“It was a pretty involved structure fire when we pulled on the scene,” Olinger told the Mitchell Republic.

The department worked to extinguish the flames as well as protect an structure adjacent to the mobile home. The neighboring building was saved, but the mobile home was a complete loss, Olinger said. Olinger said he did not have a dollar estimate on the damage.

There were two occupants home at the time of the fire, Olinger said, but they were able to get out and were not injured in the blaze. No firefighters or other emergency responders were injured either.


Olinger said it had not been fully determined what caused the fire, but he suspected an electrical cause sparked the flames.

“If I had to take an educated guess, it looks electrical in nature. It looks like it started in the wall and spread to the roof,” Olinger said.

Emergency crews were on the scene until around 3:30 p.m., though some firefighters did remain on scene afterward on fire watch to make sure the fire did not rekindle.

In addition to the Salem Volunteer Fire Department, the Montrose Volunteer Department responded to a mutual aid call to assist. Also responding to the fire were McCook County Emergency Management, the McCook County Sheriff’s Office and the city of Salem.

Erik Kaufman joined the Mitchell Republic in July of 2019 as an education and features reporter. He grew up in Freeman, S.D., graduating from Freeman High School. He graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1999 with a major in English and a minor in computer science. He can be reached at
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