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South Dakota family recovers from injuries after house fire

STURGIS (AP) -- A South Dakota man says his family injured in a house fire last month should make a full recovery. Bill McKee told The Black Hills Pioneer that doctors have predicted his son, Jason McKee, daughter, Mandy McKee, and grandson, Etha...

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STURGIS (AP) - A South Dakota man says his family injured in a house fire last month should make a full recovery.

Bill McKee told The Black Hills Pioneer that doctors have predicted his son, Jason McKee, daughter, Mandy McKee, and grandson, Ethan Baker, will fully heal with time. The three family members suffered smoke inhalation injuries in the May 12 fire that destroyed McKee's home in Sturgis. It's unclear what caused the fire.

McKee's adult children and his grandson were staying in his house when the fire broke out early in the morning. Ethan Baker was sleeping on the living room couch and alerted the others. Bill McKee, his wife, Cherie, and his daughter and grandson were able to evacuate the burning house, but Jason McKee was still stuck inside.

Sturgis police arrived on scene before the fire department and rescued Jason McKee.

"If it weren't for those officers trying and trying and trying to get him out, he wouldn't be here today," Bill McKee said. "I tried so many ways to get in that house. I couldn't do it and they did."

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Jason McKee said he will be forever grateful to the officers who saved his life.

"Everyone is doing very well, but it's going to take a very long time for them to heal," Bill McKee said. "The smoke in their lungs has been cleared, but they have to be really careful."

Bill and Cherie McKee are living in a motel while the insurance company settles plans for their former home's future.

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