PINE RIDGE (KOTA TV) - The Oglala Sioux Tribe Emergency Management began fighting the fire that took over half of the Pine Ridge Trading Post in Pine Ridge early Saturday Morning.
The Pine Ridge Oil Company is one of the area's longtime gas stations and mercantiles selling everything from jewelry to souvenirs.
Built in 1942, it's the only store in Pine Ridge that sells Red Diesel fuel serving many farmers and ranchers in the area.
Owners Bat and Patty Pourier say they employ about 10 people, including one of their managers who's worked there for 38 years.
The Pouriers experienced another fire at their previous store back in 1999.
"It's very stressful to go through a fire of any type," Patty Pourier said. "It's hard for our employees right before Christmas to be out of work. We do have business interruption insurance that should help pay their wages this month. It's stressful and every business is important on the Pine Ridge Reservation."
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.