Family lost home, vehicles in chimney fire - KOTA Territory News

Family lost home, vehicles in chimney fire


Shiloh Farmer and his wife Johanna Del Soldato lost their home and all three of their vehicles during a fire early Sunday morning near Hisega.

The blaze started in the middle of the night when the couple and their two daughters were asleep.  They awoke to find the chimney bearing wall hot and bubbling.

"My older daughter was up and she had come into the room earlier and felt the wall and thought it felt warm so we knew where to look  and go them outside," said Del Soldato. "If it had been five minutes earlier we wouldn't have been able to get out of our room.

Fire engines and crews were unable to get to the home because power lines and tree's blocked the road (Morse Place).

"At a certain point when there's down power lines in the way and they have been stuck in the snow themselves for hours," said Rapid City Fire Department Public Information Officer, Calen Maningas. "It comes down to keeping our own personal safe as well."

"They tried," said Del Soldato. "They did everything that they could, and they stood with us you know and made sure that the neighbors were good."

Farmer and his wife spent Tuesday sifting through the ash, looking for any remains, but the loss is so great, there's close to nothing left.

"I was looking for a jewelry box, there's nothing there," said Farmer. "I was looking for wedding rings really but there's nothing."

Thanks to the community, Shiloh, Johanna, and there two daughters, nine and 16 (her birthday was Monday), have clothes on their backs, and food to eat.

"I never know what a wonderful community I lived in until this happened to my family," said Farmer. "Thank you Rapid City, thank you to the supply houses who donated tools to me, I thank everyone in this community."

"We'll have to start from scratch," said Del Soldato. "It's just going to take a little but of time but it's okay.

If you would like to help the Farmer family you can donate at Johanna's place of work, the Black Hills Federal Credit Union. Just mention her name.

Maningas says there were 13 other structure fires in Rapid City during the last 72 hours, most of them started from blizzard related accidents such as candles, heaters, and snow removal equipment not being attended to.

He says if chimney's are maintained, they usually will not start a fire.





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