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1 killed in Hermosa house fire

Hermosa house fire

One person was killed Wednesday morning in a house fire in Hermosa. 

One person was killed in a house fire in Hermosa this morning, according to Pennington County Fire Service.

The victim's name was not released, and a cause of death has not been determined. 

According to a news release, the fire was reported around 10:20 a.m. at 212 Vilas St. The Battle Creek Fire Department arrived on scene a short time later and spotted heavy smoke coming from the front of the home. 

Because of the snowy weather and poor road conditions, a second alarm was called for additional manpower. When those crews arrived, they were told by a neighbor that all of the occupants of the home had made it out, the release said. 

Fire crews continued searching the home and found the victim at 11:15 a.m. Pennington County Fire Administrator Jerome Harvey said it's standard procedure to do a thorough search of structure, even when it appears everyone has been evacuated.

The victim lived at the home with the owner of the residence, who was not there at the time of the fire started, according to Harvey. The American Red Cross was contacted to provide assistance to the owner of the home.

Investigators referred further questions about the victim to the South Dakota State Fire Marshal's office, which is investigating the fire. 

Steven Monteforte, public information officer for the Battle Creek Fire Department, said it took crews around 45 minutes to put the fire out. Heavy snow and strong winds made those efforts more challenging, Monteforte added. 

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City Editor

City editor for the Rapid City Journal.

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