Authorities say three children are dead and two adults hospitalized tonight after a fire broke out inside a Sioux Falls home, this morning.
The fire started around 8 o'clock along North Main Avenue near West Brookings Street... the home sits just yards from Tower Park.
We now know the names of the three young victims who died in the home, Michael Hensley, 16; Savannah Coon, 13; and Olivia Coon, 6.
KSFY News was on the scene as crews began the investigation and also met someone with a mission to help others.
Phil Tague, a pastor from a neighborhood church heard about the fire this morning and came by the scene to see what he could do to help.
Tague said he wanted to be able to offer clothing or help pay for a few nights shelter.
He encourages people to reach out and do the same for those in need.
"It's devastating to see this, this time of year. I've got two kids myself and I don't know what this family is in need for, but it's just devastating to see this kind of stuff this time of year," Tague said.
Fire captain Mike Clauson said the fire broke out early this morning on the first floor of this two-story house at West Brookings Street and North Main Avenue.
"Crews arrived approximately 8 o'clock this morning to find the residence fully involved. First initial fire unit had a report that there were victims inside," Clauson said.
Clauson said a mother and father escaped, but couldn't rescue their children.
"They made attempts at getting their children out, which due to the intense, intense heaT, even the fire crews were unable to do that," Clauson said.
Pastor Tague said having a devastating event happen at Christmastime can make you appreciate the important things in life.
"I think this really puts into perspective what this season is about. It's real easy to forget in all the consumerism that it's about our fellow man and loving others that we love. Our own families," Tague said.
But Tague reminds us, no matter the time of year, dealing with a tragedy is never easy.
"Tragedy never comes at a convenient time. regardless of the season. The things that make Christmas special are the things we should be practicing all year long," Tague said.
Sioux Falls Fire captain Mike Clauson said smoke detectors alerted the homeowner about the fire.
Clauson said we should all make sure our smoke detectors are in good, working order this season.
He said if you need a smoke detector, Sioux Falls Fire Department headquarters can help.
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