Hoven community devastated from loss of high school - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Hoven community devastated from loss of high school

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Hoven High School was destroyed by a massive fire that started just before 1 o'clock this morning.

People who watched and fought the flames said by 3 AM, the roof of the gym was completely engulfed in flames.

Twelve fire departments from surrounding communities came to help battle the flames through the night.

They drained most of the town's water tower, that's when nearby farmers came in to help.

"A mess. A horrible mess. It's amazing," said Amy Hartung.

"Flames everywhere. Smoke. It was awful," said Jenny Uhrich.

When the fire started, the town came out and watched as firefighters tried to put out the flames on Hoven High School.

"We were crawling in there and even on the ground it was so hot it felt like it was melting your gear off of you and we had to back out, its not worth losing someone over a building," explained Hoven Firefighter, Sam Ruckman.

"It almost reminded me of watching the movie titanic. When you go in and you see these scary pictures and stuff it was horrifying. Terrible," said Hageman.

She lives in Hoven.

"When you see it on TV, you see it in other towns, you say 'that's too bad, I feel sorry for them,' but when you actually see it for yourself, it's just a nightmare," Hageman added.

Amy Hartung's family is a long line of Hoven Greyhounds.

"I used to work at this school. My children went to it. My husband went to it," she said.

Even though the school is lost,

"This is the central part of this whole town, everything revolves around the whole school, everything, the sports, the kids, the activities. It's a big loss for the community," explained Ruckman.

"I hoped my grandchildren would go here, I don't know if they will. Time will tell," Hartung added.

"It's going to hurt the town, but Hoven is tough we'll figure something out," said Jenny Uhrich.

Uhrich said this small town isn't giving up.

"Our fighting spirit is going to come out now. We'll fight," Uhrich continued.

Uhrich said her daughter is going to be a senior next year, which makes this even harder.

Because now she doesn't know where she will graduate.

But all three of the women say even though they don't know when the school will rebuild, they are certain it will happen.

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