KDLT Home KDLT on Facebook KDLT on Twitter Get the KDLT iPhone App Get the KDLT Android App

"Hero" Mom Saves Kids In Fatal Fire



Bookmark and Share

Officials have released the names of the two people who were killed in Tuesday’s central Sioux Falls apartment fire.

 

Police said 29-year-old Sulmi Siomara Guerra-Sandoval died while trying to save 2-year-old Eli Galicia.

 

Firefighters were called to the apartment building on the 200 block of S. Williams Ave. Tuesday morning around 9 o’clock. By the time they got there, flames were coming out of the windows.

 

Two Sioux Falls men, whose names haven’t been released, heard Guerra-Sandoval’s screams, saw the fire and ran to help.

 

According to witnesses the two men grabbed the three children as Guerra-Sandoval lowered them from the second story window. Officials said the men told her she needed to get out of the burning building. But instead she went back to find 2-year-old Galicia and was overcome by toxic smoke.

 

Guerra-Sandoval was being celebrated Tuesday night for her courageousness. Fire officials said she is nothing short of a hero. But those who knew her said they aren’t surprised with what she did.

 

“We give thanks to God for giving us Sulmi,” said Pastor Saul Arevalo, Calvary Church of Sioux Falls.

 

Arevalo is the Spanish pastor at Calvary Church in Sioux Falls. He said Guerra-Sandoval and her family have been a part of the church for the past ten years.

 

“She was a very dedicated mom to the family and pretty faithful lady,” said Arevalo. 

 

And her actions on Tuesday morning to save not only her two children, 2-year-old Emily and 4-year-old Kimberly, as well as Eli Galicia’s 4-and-a-half- year-old brother showed nothing different.

 

Officials said Guerra-Sandoval lowered the three children from the burning building. Those who were helping her had her arm and told her she needed to come out. But she said no. Then she went back inside to save Galicia. Pastor Saul said it speaks to the type of woman she was.

 

He said Guerra-Sandoval was a ‘special lady,’ always there for her children and for the church. And the sacrifice she made won’t ever be forgotten.

 

“In the last moment, she gave her life for her girls, and that is kind of like a hero,” said Arevalo. 

 

Fire chief Jim Sideras agrees.

 

“When you are taking those kind of sacrifices and knowing that, and doing so without any thought of your own peril, I think you are a hero,” said Sideras.

 

Arevalo said the Spanish community will be greatly affected by the loss of Guerra-Sandoval.

 

“We will miss her, but we know she is in the best place now,” said Arevalo.

 

And he said her courageousness will give them all the strength they need to move on.

 

“Sulmi is a really good example for everybody to fight for their family, to protect them, love them. Especially in this hard time,” said Arevalo.

 

All three children were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. Guerra-Sandoval’s 4-year-old Kimberly was transferred Wednesday morning to Minneapolis for further treatment. Her other daughter, 2-year-old Emily was released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon. Galicia’s older brother remained in the hospital as well in critical condition.

 

Guerra-Sandoval’s husband is now taking care of their three other daughters. Galicia’s father is here, but his mother is currently in Mexico. Officials said they are working with authorities to get her into the United States.

 

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. However, officials said they found the origin of the fire which was believed to be on the lower level on Guerra-Sandoval’s apartment.

 

A fund has been set up for the families at Cortrust Bank on Minnesota Avenue under ‘Fire Victim’s Fund.’ Donations can also be dropped off at Calvary Chapel of Sioux Falls.

 

 

 

< Prev Story Back To Top Next Story >
     

Back To School Sales  story with video

(NBC News) Back to school shopping is a $72 billion industry, which is why some stores have gotten an early ...

SD Gov. Concerned About Immigrant Placement

New data released by the US Department of Health and Human Services shows ...

Damaged Road In Western SD Won't Be Closed

Meade County officials have decided not to close a damaged section of a road ...

New State Forester Named For South Dakota  Jul. 25

Wessington Springs Tornado Fund Nears $150,000  Jul. 25

Obama Aide Says Impeachment Threat Taken Seriously  Jul. 25

Laura And Brian Preview This Weekend's Movies  story with video  Jul. 25

Annual FamilyFest Expects Crowd Of 20,000  story with video  Jul. 25

Pierre Library Director Says Fines Long Overdue  Jul. 25

Mines Students, Others Present Research In Pierre  Jul. 25

Survey Finds Support For Atlantic Salmon In Oahe  Jul. 25

Council Members Call For Alcohol Ban Now   story with video  Jul. 24

Local Business Helps Employee Battling Cancer  story with video  Jul. 24

"Flags In The Wind" On Display At Falls Park  Jul. 24

Project S.O.S. Gears Up for Free Distribution  story with video  Jul. 24

Sioux Falls City Hall Renovates Ground Floor  Jul. 24

Accidents Used As Lessons In Driver's Ed  story with video  Jul. 24

Insurers Owe $2,600 In Refunds In South Dakota  Jul. 24

Feds: Minn. Receives 173 Immigrant Children  Jul. 24

21 Unaccompanied Children Placed With SD Sponsors  Jul. 24

SD Museum, Collector Dispute Elvis' Broken Guitar  Jul. 24

Last Defendant Sentenced For Defrauding Programs  Jul. 24

Patterson Arraigned For Kidnapping, Assault  Jul. 24

A Second RAGBRAI Rider Has Died  Jul. 24

KDLT News Archive
     

Local Business Helps Employee Battling Cancer  story with video

Life can change in an instant and  local real ...

A Second RAGBRAI Rider Has Died

A RAGBRAI participant from Sioux City has been found dead in his ...

Patterson Arraigned For Kidnapping, Assault

The man accused of killing the son of Minnesota ...

Council Members Call For Alcohol Ban Now   story with video  Jul. 24

14 Clear Lake Co-workers Claim $230,000 Jackpot  Jul. 24

Air Algerie Plane Disappears From Radar  Jul. 24

SD Gov. Concerned About Immigrant Placement  Jul. 25

21 Unaccompanied Children Placed With SD Sponsors  Jul. 24

KDLT News Archive
     

Birds swept in St. Paul

ST. PAUL, MN - The Sioux Falls Canaries (22-44) were unable to reverse their fortunes on the ...

SF West wins Region 2-A title  story with video

SF West went through Region 2-A unbeaten after winning the title game 11-1 over Yankton. Luke ...

Chris Dixon is retiring from Indoor Football  story with video

Legendary Indoor Football QB Chris Dixon has decided to hang it up ...

Brookings Bandits getting closer to goals  story with video  Jul. 24

Cowboys love the Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo  story with video  Jul. 24

Brookings, SF West make State "A" Legion Tournament  Jul. 23

Birds drop 3rd straight at St. Paul  Jul. 23

Scheels Plays of the Week from July 14th-20th  story with video  Jul. 23

KDLT Sports Stories
     
Back To Top