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Overnight Fire Leaves Mitchell Family Homeless

April 20, 2011, 6:18 AM by Kelly Bartnick

Overnight Fire Leaves Mitchell Family Homeless
MITCHELL, SD - A Mitchell family of five is without a home following an overnight house fire in the central part of town.

A teenager at the home on the 900 block of South Duff Street had noticed the fire around 12:30 and yelled for help.

Fire crews arrived to find flames throughout the upper level of the story-and-a-half home. They were able to contain most of the flames to that upper floor but fire fighters say the home's age made the fight more difficult.

"Over the years with an older house like this, numerous remodel jobs have been done, you have various fake walls here, various fake walls there, small crawl spaces, and it just makes it a tough job for firefighters to get in there safely and do their job," Mitchell Fire Chief Paul Morris said.

Crews spent more than four hours trying to put out the flames. The main level did have some damage but since the roof is gone, the house is considered a complete loss.

The family living there was renting and did not have renters insurance so they hope to be able to save some of their belongings. They are now receiving help from the local Red Cross.

The cause is unknown and is under investigation.

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