DE SMET, SD -
A De Smet family has reason to be thankful as they picks up the pieces after a weekend house fire.
"When we got here the flames were already through the roof," fire chief Randy Holland said.
The fire started Saturday morning, with a family of five inside. Smoke alarms woke the kids who got out and ran to a neighbor.
"I heard the doorbell, so I looked out the window and I see the kids out in the driveway so I came down and quick got them in the house," Dolores Halverson said.
Halverson then called 911. The parents were still in the house at the time because they didn't know their children had already made it to Halverson’s house.
A firefighter who lives just down the street was one of the first on the scene and ran inside. When the trucks arrived, firefighters saw the two adults through the bathroom window, broke it and rescued them.
"It turned out to be a good ending to what could have been a very bad situation," Holland said.
The family had done some things right beforehand to help get the positive outcome. Firefighters are commending them for having working smoke detectors that woke them in the first place. They had a plan they discussed as a family so the three kids, who are all elementary age, knew to get out and get to the neighbor.
"And they put their escape plan into effect and got out safe," Holland said.
So as the house reminds the community of a family who lost a home; it also reminds them it could easily have been worse.
Investigators are still looking for a cause. The fire chief says it might have started around the area of a wood burning stove and spread through the attic.
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