COLUMBIA, SD -
A Brown County family is making plans to move forward after a weekend fire destroyed their home and everything in it.
The fire happened on a farm near Columbia Saturday. Shad Albrecht and his family are counting their losses and blessings together.
"It just seems like I've got the best friends and the best neighbors in the world that came together and helped me," Albrecht said.
Albrecht was home Saturday with his wife, son and two of his son's friends. The men were trying to get rid of a rat around the porch using a smoke bomb.
No one knows exactly how it happened but the porch started on fire. All five of them fought as hard as they could to put it out, but the fire grew and spread to the house.
"We could no longer get close to the fire to try to fight it. We knew it was kind of hopeless at that point," Albrecht said.
Roads were icy Saturday, making it hard for firefighters to arrive quickly. At the same time, the age of the home caused it to burn quickly. Since family members spent their time fighting the fire, they didn't have a chance to save anything inside.
"Raised four kids in this house," Albrecht said. "Every picture we ever had, gone. Wedding bands, gone. Every little memento from every trip."
The family cat didn't make it out of the house either.
Albrecht met with his insurance adjuster Monday. He says he and his wife will rebuild. They've lost a lot but are thankful too.
"Just can't believe the amount of love that's out there. That helps," Albrecht said.
The Albrechts are staying with family in the Brown County area.
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