Fire claims Ringneck Retreat hunting lodge in Hitchcock
By Shiloh Appel
On Wednesday, July 17th, starting at approximately 6:45 p.m., the Ringneck Retreat hunting lodge in Hitchcock was engulfed in flames. The cause of the fire is being attributed to a gas grill that was on the lodge’s deck.
According to Hitchcock Fire Department chief, Phillip Oeschle, the lodge’s owner, Darik Tschetter, was the sole occupant at the lodge when the fire started, and he was able to get to safety.
Approximately 40 personnel were on the scene for 24 hours battling the flames, including the Tulare Fire Department, Wolsey Fire Department, Huron Fire Department, Miller Fire Department, and Wolsey and Spink County ambulance, in addition to the Hitchcock Fire Department. The Beadle County American Red Cross was also on the scene with food and water for the firemen.
Oeschle said the lodge was a total loss. The apartments near the lodge also sustained slight damage to the siding.
One Hitchcock firefighter was taken to the hospital for heat exhaustion. He was treated and released.