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Two escape Friday morning house fire that ravaged Mitchell home

The house fire broke out at around 11:30 a.m. on Friday, as crews battled the blaze until 2 p.m.

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Smoke pours out of a house at 823 E. 5th Avenue in Mitchell on Friday morning. (Matt Gade / Republic)

Two people were able to escape a late Friday morning house fire that caused severe damage to a home on East Fifth Avenue in Mitchell.

At approximately 11:30 a.m. Friday, Mitchell fire crews responded to a report of a structure fire at a house at 823 E. Fifth Ave. According to Mitchell Fire Marshall Shannon Sandoval, an electrical outlet in the kitchen was deemed to be the cause of the fire.

House fire on East 5th Avenue in Mitchell

Due to the “balloon” frame style of the home, Sandoval said it added more challenges for the fire crews to battle the blaze that lasted roughly 2.5 hours.

“We sent one engine, and upon arrival, we had heavy smoke and some fire coming out of the east side of the house,” Sandoval said. “We ended up finding the majority of the fire on the second and got it stopped.”

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After Mitchell firefighters put out the blaze on the main floor of the home and worked their way toward the upper floors, a third unit of firefighters with Ethan and Alexandria were called in for backup help. In total, Sandoval said there were 35 firefighters that worked to put out the fire.

“When they went upstairs, it was just heavy smoke, so we knew it was in the walls. The studs in the house from the basement all the way up to the attic, so there is basically a void there that fire, air and smoke can just run through,” Sandoval said. “We knew we needed more bodies with how large the house was as well.”

The two residents who were inside the home when the fire broke out were able to safely escape upon first responders arriving at the scene. Sandoval the pets in the home were also safely evacuated.

Sandoval said the home was severely damaged from the fire, but it’s yet to be determined whether it’s inhabitable. The family who were residing in the home will be displaced for now.

Related Topics: FIRES
Sam Fosness joined the Mitchell Republic in May 2018. He was raised in Mitchell, S.D., and graduated from Mitchell High School. He continued his education at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, where he graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in English. During his time in college, Fosness worked as a news and sports reporter for The Volante newspaper.
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