A Rapid Valley home ignited twice in two days, first creating strong flames visible from the airport and Air Force Base, and then sending smoke and ash into the wind.
“It’s very rare,” Jerome Harvey, administrator of Pennington County Fire, said Monday of the back-to-back blazes.
“Last night was definitely more severe” while the morning fire “was not a Hollywood event,” he said.
The fires occurred at a home on the 13000 block of Ennen Drive. The first one was reported at 8:09 p.m. Sunday
“Firefighters found a free burning fire, with a moderate to heavy smoke condition, on the exterior and in the interior of a residential structure, detached garage and extending into the yard at the rear of the structure,” Pennington County Fire said in a news release Monday.
The flames were tall and bright enough to be seen from the Rapid City Airport and Ellsworth Air Force Base, Harvey said. The fire was contained to the one property and no injuries were injured. The three residents are being helped by the Red Cross, Harvey said.
The second fire was reported at 9:58 a.m. on Monday. Firefighters had been at the scene just five minutes beforehand, Harvey said.
Harvey said the state fire marshal office will investigate the causes of both fires, but he believes strong 25 to 35 mph winds contributed to the second one.
“This wind out here, it’s terrible out here,” he said.
Gusts of wind were still causing smoke and ash to billow out of the home around 10:30 a.m. Only small flames or embers were visible.
Firefighters were still working to put out the fire as of 11:30 a.m. Monday.
— Contact Arielle Zionts at firstname.lastname@example.org.