On Wednesday, June 9 at 5:05 p.m., the Vermillion Fire EMS Department responded to an activated fire alarm at Lee Medical Building on the campus of the University of South Dakota at 215 E. Clark St. in Vermillion. While enroute the call was upgraded to a working fire after it was advised that smoke was present in the building. The first arriving unit was informed by University Police that there was smoke on the second and third floors on the west side of the building. They advised that it was light but getting worse. Firefighters entered the building, investigated and found that there was light smoke present with the smell of something burning. Further investigation revealed that belts had burned up on a HVAC unit which created the smoke.
Mutual aid units were requested from several area departments due to the complexity of a potential fire in the building and the hot weather conditions present that day.
The building was occupied at the time of the call, but all persons had exited the building prior to the arrival of fire units. There were no civilian or first responder injuries during this incident. Total call time was approximately 1.5 hours.
Vermillion Fire EMS Department – four apparatus / three support vehicles / 20 personnel; Elk Point Fire Department – one apparatus; Gayville Fire Department – one apparatus; Yankton Fire Department – one apparatus / one support vehicle; University of South Dakota Police Department; and Vermillion Police Department.