While the investigation of the Nov. 27 fatality fire continues, the Rapid City Fire Department fire investigators feel that the evidence indicates the fire was caused by the actions of a resident from the multi-family home. The fire is not believed to be malicious in nature.
911 call came in seconds before 10:50 P.M., two minutes later two fire engines, a medical unit and a battalion chief were dispatched. The first engine arrived at 10:56 P.M. A resident noticed the fire and tried to extinguish it. Recognizing the fire was too large for him to handle, he alerted all of the residents to evacuate. Everyone else in the building was able to evacuate safely thanks to his extensive efforts.
Firefighters attacked the fire and began a search of the entire structure. That is when they found the three children and their grandmother. They began CPR on the children and transported the family to the hospital.
From 2002 – 2012, 18 people have died in a fire in Rapid City, including the four on the 27th. The last fire fatality in was November 5, 2010 due to unattended cooking. There were two other fatalities in 2010 in a motel. The last child fire fatality was in 2002.
From January 1, 2012 through November 29, 2012 there have been 84 building fires in Rapid City, 29 were unattended cooking fires that were confined to the pan. 67 of the building fires were in residential buildings.