Downtown Sioux Falls apartment fire keeps residents away from ho - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Downtown Sioux Falls apartment fire keeps residents away from home after Christmas

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The holidays are a time to spend with family and friends.  

But a Christmas evening fire at a downtown apartment building has some people holding their loved ones a little tighter Thursday.

The fire forced many to find another place to stay Wednesday night.

We spoke with a woman who had just left her mother's house after Christmas dinner.

Her mother told us, when her daughter didn't call or text her that she had arrived back home, she began to worry a little.

When he daughter finally called, she realized she had good reason to be concerned. 

A hug and a kiss from a mother who's just happy to know her only child is alive and well.

Wendy Larson-Hickcox said "thank God, thank the good Lord that everybody got out ok, even the baby kitty. I was really ecstatic to hear that they were ok, I mean fires just... anything can happen."

A fire at Breanna Larson's apartment building on Christmas Day is not how she expected her happy holiday to end.

"I was scared not knowing what was going to happen, or we would lose the apartment, none of us would have a place to go back to," Larson said.

Breanna has her mom to stay with until it's safe to return home, but her neighbors at River Terrace Apartments also provide another type of family.

"Everyone in our building is mostly very close, family-oriented, so we all pulled together, and kept each other calm, so that was good to have them also," Larson said.

But for now, 36 units are evacuated. First and second floor residents may get to go home as soon as Friday, while people who live on the third floor may have to wait a little longer.

"I miss my bed, miss my home, kind of curious also to see what it looks like on the inside. The firemen let us go back, they brought us to our apartments to get medications, keys for cars, and stuff like that," Larson said.

"God bless the Sioux Falls fire department," Larson added.

We spoke with the fire department Thursday afternoon about the investigation.

They tell us it's believed a heater installed in the third floor attic space may have started the fire but exactly what caused it to ignite, is still to be determined.

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