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House Fire Near Garretson

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A Garretson family is without a home Monday after a fire destroyed theirs.

Around 7:30 Monday morning Garretson Fire Department was sent to a home off of 257th street.   

Officials said when they arrived the house was fully engulfed. They said battling this fire or any fire during winter is much more difficult.

All crews could salvage were half burnt Christmas presents from the two-story home. Having this fire be a sad start to the most wonderful time of the year for one family.

"The will be more than likely a complete loss. They'll look to salvage personal belongings if we can but the structure itself burned up all the way up from the underneath to the roof,” said Lynn DeYoung, Director of Minnehaha County Emergency Management.

Lynn DeYoung is the director of Minnehaha County Emergency Management. He said when crews arrived it was 9 below zero at the home.

At that temperature, DeYoung said firefighters are battling two extremes.

"As soon as you get water on your gloves, or on your helmet or anything, those freeze over,” said DeYoung.

Fire hoses also tend to freeze up.

“There have been several nozzles that have frozen and some of those things,” DeYoung said.

But what made Monday’s fire so hard to battle was water was scare and it kept freezing.

“With the cold weather ice is just accumulating and its just not a good place to be right now,” DeYoung said.
Truck after truck came in and out with water from town. And road crews had to constantly sand the roads leading to the home.
“The last thing we want is truck slipping off of the road, or anyone else walking along this area and slipping and falling,” said DeYoung.

The Red Cross also set up warming tents and hot chocolate on hand for the volunteer firefighters.

“You just need a lot of people and a lot of equipment this time of year to put out fires,” said DeYoung.

But no matter how much more man power, or equipment crews need, DeYoung said all that matter is that everyone is safe.      
"Although those material possessions can be brought back, but you can't bring back the dog or any other life and fortunately no one has been hurt,” said DeYoung.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

DeYoung said the Red Cross are assisting the family with finding a place to stay, or with anything else they need.

Brandon, Valley Springs and Beaver Creek also helped fight the fire.

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