It's demolition day for a Sioux Falls man who lost his house to fire earlier this week.
Crews with heavy equipment began helping Bill Preheim tear down his house on North Spring Avenue this afternoon. It took only a few hours to knock down what it took Preheim a lifetime to build.
Bucket after bucket of lifetime memories are being scooped up and hauled away from what used to be Bill Preheim's home.
"It's been hectic, we've all gathered as a family pretty much take care of this," Kyle Amundson said.
Preheim didn't want to be interviewed, but Kyle Amundson, who also lived here for the past six years says friends have gathered to help Preheim sort through the debris to try and find anything that's salvageable, but there isn't much.
"He lost his wedding pictures, he's lost everything that was near and dear to him, he lost his house and it was all paid off," Amundson said.
The house went up in flames Tuesday. Heavy smoke was seen coming from the home just before crews arrived. Officials say the fire started from a wood-burning stove.
Preheim didn't have insurance on the house, so now he's left with a gaping hole on his property and an empty feeling of not knowing what the future holds, especially when they were all looking forward to celebrating Christmas.
"I don't know if we can or not, it's emotional that it had to happen around this time," Amundson said. "It hurts, every time we find some that survived it hurts to look at it."
Preheim is staying in an apartment for now. Three others who lived there with Preheim are staying with friends.
If you'd like to help, a fund has been set up for Preheim at any of the Service First Federal Credit Union locations in Sioux Falls.