Working smoke detectors are being credited with saving the lives of five people residing in a home on Virginia Lane north of Rapid City that was destroyed by fire early Saturday morning.
One resident suffered minor burns to his hands and face, but the two adults and three children living there made it out alive after the 5 a.m. fire at the home in the 900 block of Virginia Lane, located west of North Haines Avenue north of the Rapid City limits.
Seven agencies responded to the fire and initially encountered heavy fire coming from the front of the home, according to a release from the North Haines Volunteer Fire Department. The garage and a truck outside were extensively damaged. While the house is still standing, it was considered a total loss due to fire, smoke and water damage, officials said.
Icy conditions at the fire scene led to minor injuries to two firefighters who responded; they were treated for their injuries, the release said. Responding agencies included the Rapid City Fire Department, the Meade County Sheriff's Office, and firefighters from the North Haines, Rapid Valley, Box Elder, Black Hawk, and Piedmont volunteer departments.
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The Red Cross is providing immediate assistance to the family, including emergency lodging, food and clothing. Homemade quilts, toys and comfort kits were also given to the family. Caseworkers will be following up to assist in the recovery process in the coming days, according to a Red Cross press release.
“This could have been a very tragic event had it not been for the smoke alarms in their home,” said Red Cross Executive Director Richard Smith in the release. “Right now is when everyone should test their smoke alarms as we turn our clocks forward this weekend.”
Officials recommend that residents use the advent of Daylight Saving Time today to not only move their clocks ahead one hour, but to also replace the batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.