A family RV was destroyed when it became engulfed in flames Sunday evening, Sept. 1 at Frontier Travel Center in Bowman. According to local law enforcement, the fire was called in at about 7 p.m. There were no injuries and the cause of the blaze was not immediately known.
By Cole Benz
Ryan Cyr, driver of the RV, told the Pioneer that he, his wife Sharese, and daughter Amira had recently traveled to South Dakota from their home in Regina, Saskatchwean to go camping. They purchased gas in Buffalo, S.D. on their way home, but not knowing the next time they could refuel, they decided to stop at Frontier Travel Center to fill their tank again.
“We were coming here and we figured we [were] going north along the back roads,” he said. “So we figured we’d top off our gas.”
Cyr said that after they pulled into the travel center and up to the pump, he exited the vehicle. Upon exiting the RV, he noticed some smoke coming from the back tire. He told his wife about the smoke. When he opened the bathroom door he could see a small fire in the corner. But opening the door let air in and the flames quickly grew.
“As soon as I opened [the door], it gave [the fire] oxygen,” he said. “And then it took off.”
His used a fire extinguisher, but it created more smoke. They shut the door and he got out of the passenger seat and went into the driver’s seat so he could pull get the vehicle away from the gas pumps. By the time he had stopped the vehicle again it was entirely filled with smoke. He got out quickly, but there was little he could do at that point, except to watch as the fire destroyed the RV.
Both Bowman Police Department and Bowman Fire Department were quickly on site to control traffic and fight the fire. With police still on site the fire department left after the fire was extinguished. But they were called back a few minutes later when the fire had reginited as a tow truck pulled the burnt RV even further from the pumps near the south side of the parking lot between the two bays of fuel pumps.
The odor from the fire wafted through the entire parking lot, and burnt debris was scattered to the gas pumps.
An attempt to contact the Bowman Fire Department was not made yet at the time of this publishing.