MITCHELL, S.D. (KELO) – Authorities are investigating a fire in Mitchell where a six-year-old girl was found dead. The fire started early Thursday morning. Two other children were inside the home as well, but were able to get out safely.
The call came in just after midnight for a fire at a home on North Wisconsin Street in Mitchell.
Steven Dirkes lives across the street.
“It’s not like on TV or anything. It happened really fast; went from a little fire to a giant fire in 20-30 seconds,” Dirkes said.
When he saw what was going on, he jumped into action.
“Ran in to do what we could do and got two of the kids, but couldn’t find the other one. Grabbed a ladder and went out back and crawled up it and tried to get through the window. Went around to the other windows; broke them open trying to get to the girl. Too much smoke. Couldn’t breathe; couldn’t see,” Dirkes said.
Destiny Reimnitz and family members own the home. This is one of their rental properties.
“We own a house just down the street and we had somebody who lives there and knows us well, and that we own this house, so they gave us a phone call, and we hopped out of bed and came over here as fast as we could, just to see what we could do to help or anything,” Reimnitz said.
Authorities say the home has significant damage.
“We will go about putting boards on all of the windows and doors, and closing it off so nobody can go in there and once we get a permit to take the house down, that will be the next steps because it is a total loss,” Reimnitz said. “It was so sad seeing everybody out here not knowing what to do and not being able to help.”
Reimnitz says the property has been handed over to them. According to a release from the Mitchell Department of Public Safety, local, state and federal officials are involved in the investigation.