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Resident Reacts After Fire Destroys A Home

May 21, 2014, 8:30 AM by Brittany Larson

Resident Reacts After Fire Destroys A Home

Kythryn Heilmeyer recalls a terrifying experience that happened Tuesday morning.

"I hear fire trucks and ambulances and they were getting closer and I was sleeping and then I heard people screaming, it's over here, it's over here and then I look out my bedroom and the flames were as high as the trees and they trailers are so close together I thought, oh my god they are just going to catch the next trailer," Heilmeyer said. "Sparks were flying from the electric pole was on fire and it was like fireworks, it sounded like fire crackers."

A total of 19 firefighters were on scene.

"I couldn't tell how fast it spread, but normally trailer houses do spread faster than a normal home because of their construction,"  Fire Inspector Investigator Russ Downs said.

The fire was contained in about 20 minutes.

"In this case they were really close together. We have to worry about what we would call exposures, which would be the other buildings that weren't on fire," Division Chief Jeff Helm said. "So we assign resources to handle that, whether it's a whole line with a fire fighter on it. That way, we can ensure that we keep the fire to where it started." 

"It was so hot and so intense," Heilmeyer said. "That's the first time my dogs have never barked because they were terrified."

Officials say if you have pets, get out of your home first and then notify authorities.

"I know pets can be a part of the family," Helm said. "It's just they do hide because they are scared and you may spend too much time trying to find a pet. You need to get out of the structure and let the firefighters do their job. Let them know there is pet in that home and they will do their best to try and find that pet and get them out safely." 

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue would like to remind residents to have working smoke detectors and a practiced escape plan in the event of a fire emergency. 



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