Watertown woman killed in early morning house fire - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Watertown woman killed in early morning house fire

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A Watertown woman is dead after an early morning fire in her home.

The Codington county sheriff's office says Valerie Voelsch, 48, was found unresponsive just outside her home in the 33-hundred block of 26th avenue Northeast.

The Watertown Fire Rescue responded to the call just before three this morning.

Investigators believe the fire started when a cigarette ignited a piece of furniture inside the home.

"The fire was relatively small, it did not take much water to knock it down. We were more concerned with the initial point of entry, making sure everybody was out of the house," Said Fire Chief Doug Kranz, Watertown Fire Rescue.

When firefighters arrived on scene the two people inside the house were out, but Voelsch was unresponsive.

They say the fire was contained to one room and that the other victim; who was treated for smoke inhalation and survived the ordeal helped Voelsch out of the home.

Watertown Fire Rescue brought Voelsch to the Prairie Lakes Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

"At this point our hearts go out to the victims of the family on this terrible tragedy and on this event," Kranz said.

The Codington County Sheriffs office is leading the investigation, but received help from the South Dakota Fire Marshall's office as well as several other local and state agencies.

Kranz says this is the first fire related death this year, and with it being the holiday season it makes it that much harder.

"It's a tragedy any time of the year, but I've gotta believe on a holiday I can only imagine it would be even worse," Kranz said.

Police say no foul play is suspected

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