A week that started with multiple northeast South Dakota families displaced by fires is ending with a Mobridge family thanking the community for overwhelming support.
An apartment fire in Aberdeen Sunday displaced families. A building with businesses and an apartment in Mobridge burned Saturday.
Remains of the destroyed building in Mobridge sit along U.S Highway 12, reminding many passersby about the fire. It’s the items that aren’t around anymore that are in the minds of the families who lived and worked there.
“I lost my baby book, and some journals I had written when I was a child were in there,” Gentry Croshaw said.
Croshaw had recently opened a children��s clothing store in the building. Her brother and sister-in-law Kevin and Holly Boshard and three kids lived in an apartment within the building, along with Holly’s mother Sue Ann Hammond.
Kevin Boshard and other family members also operated a construction business from the location.
��Holly lost all their baby books, all their pictures. Some things from our grandmas that were lost in there, some antiques that we wanted to pass down to our kids were in there,�� Croshaw said.
Family members noticed smoke in the building Saturday and got out safely before flames engulfed it.
As they lost belongings, the families gained support they weren’t expecting from the Mobridge community through calls, texts and words of encouragement. There is also a benefit planned Thursday night at the Edge Event Center in Mobridge.
Even before that event comes, the family members say they are very blessed. Clothes, food and gift cards are just some of the donated items already helping them recover.
“Like my friends just come giving me clothes and things I need, just little things like perfumes or hair stuff or something they just like thought of me,” high school sophomore Hannah Gushwa said.
“It is amazing, just amazing to feel that bond of a community,” Croshaw said.
The families hadn’t been living in the Mobridge area for long, so a lot of the support they’re receiving, they say, is from strangers.
“We have felt blessed going through something as awful as that fire has been. We have felt more blessed and more loved and I would say we’re a stronger family having gone through this,” Croshaw said.
The family says the fire was electrical. Along with the community, they also thank firefighters who were outside for hours in very cold temperatures.