Metal home presented unique challenges for Mitchell firefighters - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Metal home presented unique challenges for Mitchell firefighters

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Fire investigators continue to look for the cause of a fatal house fire in Mitchell in which a 42-year-old man died Friday night.

But this was not an ordinary house fire.

Firefighters say they quickly put out the fire because the house was made out of steel, both inside and out.

KSFY News spoke with a woman in the neighborhood who lives  right across the street.

Becky Robertson lives in a unique metal house in Mitchell which her family considered safe.

"If we ever had a fire, all we would have to do is replace the carpet and the cupboards and stuff, and rebuild. You know, you'll pretty much have the outside structure and the inside structure still, the walls, the roof and stuff," Robertson said.

But Friday night, a fire broke out in another steel house, her neighbor's home right across the street.

"We just said 'hi', I didn't really know of him, my son was over there playing helicopters the night before, remote control helicopters, but other than that, we just said 'hi'," Robertson said.

"It's very shocking, you just never know what could happen at anytime," Robertson added.

Mitchell fire captain, Steve Nedved points out a different strategy was needed to fight this fire.

"Having something that is all metal, we would expect it going into a trailer home park or something where we would have thin sheet metal, this was actually a heavier gauge then a trailer house," Capt. Nedved said.

"You've got to be ready for anything, anywhere, anytime," Capt. Nedved added.

The metal house contained the fire.

And although it was practically an oven, firefighters attempted to resuscitate the victim inside.

"Life safety is our first and foremost, our fire fighters on the scene and making sure that anyone else who might be in there and getting them out. that's more important to us than saving a structure," Capt. Nedved said.

And when Becky looks at the charred home that's just like hers across the street, she thinks of the safety of her own family.

"Getting them out safe, and you need to have your smoke alarms working, just get them out as fast and quick as you can," Robertson added.

The fire captain says this serves as a reminder for all of us to make sure we have working smoke detectors.

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