One man dead in Rapid City fire - KOTA Territory News

One man dead in Rapid City fire

A man is dead following a fire at a storage shed off East Saint Patrick Street in Rapid City.

It started around 11:30 p.m. Monday night in the 1800 block of Sioux Avenue. That’s when a sheriff's deputy was driving by and saw flames coming from the building. The hours since have been filled with speculation.

Zeke Fera, a neighbor who lives in a house close by, said he was sleeping when the fire started. When he woke up, he said smoke and fire was still billowing from the shed.

"When I came out here, I saw a whole fire going on over there," Fera said.

“There were a lot of items which contributed to the amount of fuel that was able to burn," said Brent Long, Lt of the Rapid City Fire Department.

First responders quickly doused the blaze. That’s when they made a gruesome discovery inside… the body of a man inside.

“He had no relations to anyone here and he was not living here at the time,” Long said.

Investigator say there was no electricity running into the building.

There was a padlock on the rear door, which leads to some speculation as to how the man got into the house. Some neighbors wonder if a homeless person was using the shed as shelter and broke in through a window.

The investigation is ongoing. Long says they can't say if the fire is suspicious or if it was accidental.

He says everything hinges on the preliminary autopsy, which was scheduled for Monday.

Rapid City police spokesperson Tarah Heupel said preliminary autopsy results indicate the man’s cause of death was smoke inhalation. The RCPD and PCSO are still working to confirm the identity of the man, and the RCFD is investigating the cause of the fire.
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518 St. Joseph St.
Rapid City, SD 57701

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