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Benefit account set up for Fulton house fire victims

Though the garage was a stand-alone, the fire quickly spread to the house. Fire crews from Alexandria, Letcher and Fedora responded to the scene, but the house was a total loss.

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FULTON — A benefit account has been created for a Fulton family whose house was destroyed by a fire.

Rural Fulton resident John Rassel was the only one home in mid-May when the house he grew up in — and eventually bought — had caught fire.

“I was working in the yard and had been back in the house for a couple hours,” John said. “I heard a noise, went back outside and the garage was on fire.”

Though the garage was a standalone, the fire quickly spread to the house. Fire crews from Alexandria, Letcher and Fedora responded to the scene, but the house was a total loss.

Peggy Rassel, John’s wife, suddenly received a phone call she said she couldn’t believe.

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“My husband likes to joke around sometimes,” Peggy said. “The night it happened, I get the call and I didn’t believe him right away. He says ‘no, I'm dead serious.’”

John and Peggy are now left thinking ahead, taking things one day at a time, as Peggy put it.

“It’s emotional,” John said, “but you can’t undo it, you’ve just got to move forward.”

John and Peggy are currently staying with their son. Peggy said while it is hard to ask anybody for anything, the family is grateful for the outpouring of support they have received thus far.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the benefit account can contact Farmers State Bank, which has locations in Mitchell, Fulton, Parkston and Kaylor.

Related Topics: FIRES
A South Dakota native, Hunter joined Forum Communications Company as a reporter for the Mitchell (S.D.) Republic in June 2021 and now works as a digital reporter for Forum News Service, focusing on local news in Sioux Falls. He also writes regional news spanning across the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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