Three children, one adult killed in Rapid City multi-family house fire17 people displaced after blaze
RAPID CITY (AP) — A late-night fire at a home where several families lived in Rapid City killed a woman and her three grandchildren, authorities said Wednesday.
The Rapid City Fire Department said the fire that broke out shortly before 11 p.m. Tuesday killed 51-year-old Marcia Rock, 9-year-old Thomas Rosado, 5-year-old Dustin Rosado and 3-year-old Marquez Hawkwing.
Rock was pronounced dead at the scene, and the three children were pronounced dead at a local hospital.
In a written statement, the department said early indications have revealed that human actions, not the gas or electrical systems of the house, may have contributed to the cause of the fire. The investigation will be a slow-moving process to make sure the cause is confirmed, the department said.
The American Red Cross helped 17 displaced people find emergency shelter at a local motel. Red Cross officials said as many as 21 people may have been living in apartments in the house.
Steve Matthias said he was watching television in his apartment in the rear of the house’s basement, when he heard what might have been an alarm from a smoke detector.
“Then I heard people yelling ‘Go, go, go!’ ” Matthias said.