Rapid City mom loses her home on Mother’s Day
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - It started as a normal Saturday night. The ending? Not so normal.
Eunice Trueblood’s sister was visiting and the sisters planned on celebrating Mother’s Day together. Everyone went to bed about 10 p.m. Later, her sister was woken up to a loud sound coming from the kitchen.
“She woke up at 12:40 to a crack and a pop, and soon after that she saw fire and flames coming from behind the microwave,” said Eunice Trueblood, who lost her home to fire.
Eunice’s sister acted quickly, waking everyone up. Luckily they were all able to get out safely, Eunice, her sister, Eunice’s three children, and her sister’s 5-month-old child. However, Eunice lost important documents, and her home is inhabitable.
“And what shocked me out of all of this is we never heard a single smoke alarm go off,” said Trueblood.
The fire department was able to put out the fire quickly, and determined it was an electrical fire started by her microwave.
“What’s sad about all of this is I’m being held accountable for damages when I was not aware that I’m supposed to leave my microwave unplugged at night,” said Trueblood.
Eunice is now facing $10,000 in damages to the house in Lakota Homes, where she lived since November 2021.
“I feel like there’s no remorse from the landlords. They’re not offering resources. They actually gave me 10 days to leave,” said Truebloood.
She said the Red Cross is helping her with a hotel for now but she’s worried about the future for herself and her kids.
“My advice to anyone is make sure you have smoke detectors in your home. Always check your smoke detectors because I could swear I never heard a smoke detector for the year and half I lived here. Also get renters insurance,” said Trueblood.
It is recommended to check your smoke alarms once a month, and to change those batteries once a year if it is older. However, for newer smoke alarms the batteries can be changed five to 10 years. To check your smoke alarm there is a button you can hold down, which should make a noise come out of the alarm.
“A smoke alarm detects that smoke in the first 30 seconds, makes a loud noise to alert us to the smoke, and to wake us up hopefully, to warn us that we need to get out immediately,” said Monica Colby, fire and life specialist with the Rapid City Fire Department.
Before a house fire occurs, families should have a plan for everyone to be able to safely get out of the house within one to two minutes.
To donate to Eunice and her family, you can click here.
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