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Neighbors Remember Woman Killed In Fire

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A Parkston woman is dead Wednesday night after an early morning house fire. Fire officials said 64-year-old Kathie Neal was found in her bedroom, which was full of smoke. Officials said around 2:30 Wednesday morning they were called to Neal’s home on the 600 block of Maple Street in Parkston. When they arrived the home was engulfed in flames. Officials said crews worked to contain the fire and once it was they went inside to save Neal, but it was too late.

Neal is said to be a good person and an even better artist, and neighbors said their small town of Parkston will be greatly impacted by her death.

Jason Weyh woke up to the sound of his dog barking early Wednesday morning, and thought nothing of it.

“About that time like 15 minutes later the fire alarms started going off. And I heard the fire trucks and then they just stopped and I thought, ‘oh boy this is close,’” said Weyh.

And it was. Right across the street from his home sits now the now charred home where 64-year-old Kathie Neal lived. Weyh said he could smell the smoke and for a second he thought it was his home on fire, until he looked outside.

“They were up on the top of the house cutting holes and stuff like that, I saw some flames coming out on the side of the house,” Weyh explained.

Weyh has been living in Parkston for about a year, and Neal was one of those neighbors he said you were happy to have.

 “She was a nice lady and a good neighbor,” said Weyh. “It's sad to see this happen.”

He said her daughter and her grandchildren lived next door to her, so their kids would have play dates.

“My six year old daughter would play with her grand kids,” said Weyh. “They were always going back and forth; in fact yesterday they were just over there.”

And Weyh says Neal's death will be very hard on the community, because she was a big part of it.

“She was an art teacher here in Parkston, my wife had her in grade school and in high school,” he said.

And now that she is gone, Weyh said it will be weighing very heavy on many hearts.
“She seemed like a very friendly woman every time I talked to her. It's a sad deal,” said Weyh.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation as of Wednesday night. But officials said they believe it started somewhere in the center of the home.
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