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Spearfish house fire results in $15K damage Wednesday

November 16, 2018

SPEARFISH — A Spearfish family sitting down to lunch Wednesday discovered the front of their home engulfed in flames, causing an estimated $15,000 worth of damage by the time firefighters extinguished the fire an hour later.

Jessica and Brett Herman, who rent the home, have two sons, ages 3 years and 7 months. Brett’s brother recently moved into the residence on Dairy Lane as well.

Brett told the Pioneer Wednesday that just before 1 p.m., as the couple and their two sons ate lunch, he heard a roar outside the front of the home and opened the door to discover the blaze.

“He opened the door and it was just smoke,” Jessica Herman said. “So he told me to grab the boys and go out the back door, so I did.”

Jessica said her husband tried to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher but the inferno was too large.

After she escaped out of the rear of the home, Jessica said, she realized she left Lucy, the family’s Labrador-German shorthair mix dog, inside the home.

“So he (Brett) ran back and let her out the back door and there was smoke already filling up the house,” she said.

Jessica said she ran outside so quickly, she didn’t even grab shoes for her or her children. Her neighbor loaned her a pair of shoes as she watched firefighters quench her burning home.

“We booked it out and the whole front (of the house) was on fire,” she said. “And our propane tank on our grill exploded, so we were hiding on the other side (of the street).”

Just to the east of the living room, which connected to the front porch, is the bedroom of one of the couple’s young sons.

The flames melted the front grill of the family’s SUV, which was parked in front of the home.

“It’s just super scary,” Jessica said.

Brett said he’s “almost positive” the fire started in a can the couple used to discard their used cigarette butts that was located on the front deck.

“Because it started on the front porch … I’ll guarantee that’s what it was,” he said.

According to a prepared statement from the Spearfish Fire Department, the department responded to the fire with 14 firefighters and two officers on the scene along with two engines and two water tenders. The blaze was quickly knocked down and damage was limited to the front entry at an estimated cost of $15,000. Fire officials agreed that a discarded cigarette was the cause of the fire.

No injuries were reported.

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