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The RCFD/Local 1040 Honor Guard has the watch.
Rapid City Fire Department
The RCFD/Local 1040 Honor Guard has the watch.

Community mourns loss of firefighter, services are set


News Staff - September 10, 2018

STURGIS, SD – Since a fire and explosion took the life of a volunteer firefighter and South Dakota National Guard Staff Sargent,  the Sturgis community, emergency response agencies and Guard units from across the region have banded together to bid a final farewell to David Fischer.

The South Dakota National Guard soldier and Iraq war veteran was killed September 7, 2018 while responding to a house fire in Tilford as a member of the Sturgis Volunteer Fire Department (SVFD).

Funeral services for fallen Sturgis Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief David Fischer have been set. Visitation will be Thursday, September 13, 1:00-7:00pm at the Community Center in Sturgis with family present from 5:00-7:00pm. The funeral will be held at 1:00pm, Saturday, September 15, 2018 at the Sturgis Brown High School.

Staff Sgt. David Fischer, 43, was a survey team member with the Rapid City-based 82nd Civil Support Team. He served as the SVFD assistant chief and was a 22-year member of the department.

Fischer is an Iraq war veteran and deployed with the 216th Engineer Detachment (Firefighting Team) in 2004-2005. He was a 23-year veteran of the SDNG.

He leaves behind a wife and seven children.

In a review of the incident, just after 4:00 pm MDT on Friday September 7, 2018,  the Sturgis Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to a report of a structure fire in the community of Tilford, SD. A large column of smoke was visible for several miles. When Sturgis firefighters arrived on scene, a single family dwelling was fully involved in fire. 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 involved residential structure. 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, Dave Fischer was killed.

As is the tradition in memorializing a fallen firefighter, a vigil has been kept since the time of death.  Fellow firefighters never left Dave Fischer’s side.  Upon arrival at the funeral home, an Honor Guard has stood watch and will remain until time of services.



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