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December 01, 2017 06:42 AM

Photographer Captured Moments Of Tragedy, Triumph After Collapse

For Christopher Reistroffer, pictures preserve moments. 

Moments of happiness, sadness and moments he'll always commit to memory. 

"People need to know. People need to see things, and that's what I do. I help people see things and remember things," Reistroffer said. 

As a professional photographer, Reistroffer was quick to capture downtown Sioux Falls just after 10 a.m. on December 2, 2016. 

"I remember wanting to run out my door to help in any way that I could, and funny enough I was in my home, I was in my pajamas. My roommate had to remind me that I need to go get dressed before I run out the door," Reistroffer said. 

At the time, he lived on the fourth floor of the Carpenter Building on Phillips Avenue. That's where he captured many of these never-before seen photos from the day the Copper Lounge collapsed. 

"There were a lot of really sad things that happened that day and there were a lot of amazing things that happened," Reistroffer said. "And that's where we should always say look for the heroes," 

I interviewed Reistroffer a year ago near the collapsed building.

"It impacted me as a community member. It impacted me as a bystander. It didn't impact me as someone that was engaged in what it was. So for me to even have emotions almost makes me feel selfish," Reistroffer said. 

Almost a year later, he is hopeful for the holidays and the future of downtown. That's what he wants to commit to memory.

"And I think this is an opportunity for our community to reflect on for a very long period of time. And yeah I think that's the most important thing is that we move forward and we can be stronger together," Reistroffer said. 

The building collapse killed construction worker Ethan McMahon and trapped 22-year-old Emily Fodness under the rubble. A new building is under construction at the site on 10th Street at Phillips Avenue.

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