An electrical shortage was the cause of a structure fire at the local Valero gas station on the corner of Dakota and Cherry streets Friday afternoon, officials said.
Vermillion Fire Chief Shannon Draper said a shortage in one of the structure’s lights caused part of the building’s roof membrane to begin smoldering.
“There’s some smoke damage, but no water or fire damage,” Draper said.
Draper said a Valero/Coyote Convenience store clerk made the emergency call after being told by a patron the video lottery room smelled of burning cardboard around 4:20 p.m.
“We opened the door to a side room and it was filled with smoke,” Patty Nelson said, who was the only person inside the store besides the clerk. “We called it in, and evacuated shortly after.”
Draper said members of the public called in to report smoke coming from the building, along with reports of small flames emerging from the roof of the structure.
According to Draper, damage to the structure is minimal, citing temporary roofing material will need to be installed before the business can reopen. He said the store could reopen as soon as this evening.
The owner of the Coyote Convenience store made no comment on the situation.
The Vermillion Fire Department, Vermillion Police Department, Vermillion Emergency Medical Service and the University of South Dakota Police Department responded to the fire.