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A local firefighter died Friday afternoon while fighting a structure fire and searching for an unaccounted for person during a blaze in the Tilford area.

As the structure burned, the fire moved to a nearby propane tank, causing it to explode. A firefighter was killed in the explosion.

A Meade County Sheriff's deputy was also transported to the hospital while fighting the fire and a civilian remains unaccounted for, according to Rapid City Fire Department Lt. Jim Bussell. 

Sturgis Fire Department was dispatched just after 4 p.m. to the small community of Tilford between Rapid City and Sturgis for a report of a structure fire.

When firefighters arrived they found the structure fully involved and the fire was spreading to other outbuildings in the area. Crews continued to fight the blaze late Friday night. 

Bussell said one firefighter "died in the line of duty," while fighting the blaze and a Meade County Sheriff's Deputy was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. There is also one civilian who is unaccounted for at this time. 

No information is being released about the deceased firefighter on Friday in order to first notify their family.  

Bussell said the initial structure is completely destroyed along with several outbuildings, but fire crews don't have an accurate number on the full scope of the damage because crews are still working to fight the fire. 

The fire crews had to deal with downed power lines, several propane tanks and other dangers while fighting this fire. 

Several agencies have been called in to investigate the fire, including the ATF, but citizens shouldn't draw conclusions from the agencies involved, according to Bussell. 

"With a fire of this size and scope, including a fatality, it's common for these types of agencies to be called in," Bussell said. 

The cause is unknown at this time. 

Bussell is acting as the Public Information Officer on the fire and is speaking for multiple agencies responding to the fire. 

More information is expected to be released Saturday morning after a 9 a.m. press briefing. 

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