PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) A fire outside the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre burned some grass around the building but did not damage any parts of the mostly underground structure. The Pierre Fire Department was summoned to the fire about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. Deputy Chief Ian Paul says the fire started on the north end of the building where a contractor was cutting concrete or metal. He says sparks from the work flew into nearby grass-starting the fire. The winds pushed the flames south through grass to other exterior locations of the building. Flames also burned toward the front doors of the center. Paul says the center had previously evacuated staff and visitors. Firefighters from the Pierre Fire Department and Pierre Rural Fire Department were able to get the fire out within about 40 minutes. He says there was no damage to the building and less than an acre of grass was burned in the blaze. Jay D. Vogt, Director of the South Dakota State Historical Society at the Cultural Heritage Center said late yesterday afternoon that the facility reopened for business once the fire was out and the center remains open for normal hours despite construction happening in the visitor parking lot of the facility.
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