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A longtime volunteer with the Rosebud Reservation's fire department lost his home to a fire early Thursday morning as the blizzard made it impossible for fire trucks to reach his Mission home.

There was "no way we could get a truck out to him" since snow drifts as high as 10 feet were blocking the roads, Thomas Gunhammer, chief of the Rosebud Volunteer Fire Department, said Thursday.

Hugo Eagle Jenson, 48, has been with the department for 25 years, Gunhammer said. He, his wife and five children escaped the home without injuries.

One of Jenson's daughters realized the roof was on fire when she got up around 5:30 a.m. She woke up everyone else, and the family escaped to their van where they waited for help.

Jenson told Gunhammer that he thinks the blaze started when wind blew fire from a wood stove into the roof.

Gunhammer was able to deliver food and clothing to the family around 12:30 p.m. today and plans to take the children to his home. He said he's not aware of any other emergencies on the reservation due to the storm.


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