FREEMAN, S.D. (KELO) — A family in Freeman is OK but picking up the pieces after a fire destroyed their home.
Cody, Haley Roth and their three-month-old Stetson, were not home when the fire started Saturday night. Once they found out about the fire, they did everything they could to put it out, but still their home is a total loss.
From the outside, it doesn’t look like anything is wrong with the Roth’s home. This is what it looked like when Haley pulled into the driveway Saturday evening, grabbed Stetson and went to the door.
“I really pushed onto the door and the smoke came pouring out. I couldn’t see one inch into the house,” Haley said.
She called Cody and other family members, who called 911. Cody was getting ready for a bull sale at his parents’ place about a half mile away. He rushed home.
“When I got down to the hill, I saw the smoke coming out of the house and all the doors that she had opened up. The first thing I did was go grab my fire extinguisher,” Cody said.
Other family members arrived and hooked up a hose to the hydrant. They managed to get the fire out before crews arrived, but it was too late.
“It’s a total loss. The smoke damage and everything. All the furniture, clothing is all gone. All our belongings, heirlooms, that’s a loss. We can’t really save anything,” Cody said.
Their cattle dog Merle was in the house. When they found him, he was unresponsive after inhaling a lot of smoke.
“Luckily, I was able to see him just a couple feet from the doorway and drag him out. He wasn’t breathing much at all,” Cody said.
He was brought to the vet and is still on the mend, but they think he’ll make a full recovery.
Even though the house and everything inside is a loss, it’s not bringing this family down.
“I can replace these belongings. I can replace the house. I can replace all the goods that were in the house, but I can’t replace a wife and a kid,” Cody said.
“Everything can be replaced. We can’t be. It’s indescribable, the feeling of, you know, the house is gone, but it would be worse if we were not here,” Haley said.
The support from the community is also keeping their hopes up.
“The outpour and outreach. Just the love and support you get, we’re overwhelmed by it,” Cody said.
“The overall support is overwhelming and so heartwarming. We’re so grateful and we’re so blessed to be in a community that’s so supportive of one another,” Haley said.
The Roth’s say the fire started because an issue with their dishwasher.
They have their bull sale on the ranch Friday at 4 p.m., and Cody’s parents will also be selling one of their heifers from last year’s crop, with all the proceeds going to Cody and Haley.
If you would like to help, you can also donate to a GoFundMe set up for them.