Friday Housefire Claims Lives of Tilford Man, Firefighter
Tilford, SD. – Just after 4:00 pm on Friday September 7, the Sturgis Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to a report of a structure fire in Tilford, SD. A large column of smoke was visible for several miles. When Sturgis firefighters arrived on scene, a single family home was fully engulfed in flames. Several outbuildings on the property and adjacent properties were also catching fire or threatened. Additionally, a number of propane tanks in the area were threatened by fire.
As Sturgis firefighters worked to fight the growing fire and evacuate nearby residents, they summoned mutual aid from nearby area fire departments. Firefighters and law enforcement on scene were given information of an unaccounted for individual that was last seen in the burning home. As firefighters continued to battle the blaze and attempt to locate the unaccounted for individual, a propane tank exploded.
As a result of the explosion, Sturgis firefighter, David Fischer was killed. A deputy sheriff from the Meade County Sheriffs Office was also transported to a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries received in the fire.
By 11:30 that evening, firefighters were still on scene extinguishing the fire and working to locate the unaccounted for individual. This individual was later identified as 82 year-old Raymond Joseph Bachmeier of Tilford, Bachmeier was also killed in the fire.
One primary residence was destroyed by the fire. In all, firefighters from 24 area departments responded to the fire.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.