Man describes fire at his home- and going in for the dogs

Local News

Whenever there is a fire in a city or town, there’s a human element to the story. Questions abound- was anyone hurt? What was lost? Monday night we’re learning these answers about a Sioux Falls fire from someone who lived there.

Tony Fleming lived in northern Sioux Falls on Fiero Place, but his home is now a total loss in the wake of Monday’s fire.

“I came home at lunch, and I seen flames shooting out of my house, and I freaked out and ran in to try to get the dogs, and the minute I opened up the door, there was tons of black smoke, and I hit the ground and went for the back door and tried to yell for all the dogs,” Tony Fleming said.

No humans were hurt in the fire, but four dogs were lost. One did survive.

“I went in and I was crawling around, I went to the back door, I was yelling as loud as I could for all the dogs, and Carmela came out,” Tony Fleming said. “I could hear her jingling, I’m like, ‘Mela come here,’ and she finally came running out the door. She used to be like caramel-colored. She was a little black, but we gave her a bath, and she’s okay.”

Two of the dogs that died were service animals for his family, including for Tony’s wife.

“She’s very close to that dog, she, like she said, ‘I don’t care about the house, I care about my dog,’ and it’s understandable,” Tony Fleming said.

KELOLAND News caught up with Tony’s brother Craig via video chat on Monday. Craig set up a GoFundMe page for Tony and Tony’s wife.

“We’re very thankful that no one was hurt and that their family is taken care of, they are in a safe spot, and things are going to be a little bit better tomorrow than they were today, so we’re feeling very thankful,” Craig Fleming said.

“It hasn’t really set in yet, I’m a little, I’m not angry about anything and just, you just gotta keep going, that’s all we can do,” Tony Fleming said.

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