ABERDEEN, S.D. Crews in Aberdeen battled a massive house fire for hours in the bitter cold on Tuesday. The city sent out a public safety alert saying it was the result of a gas explosion while Aberdeen Fire and Rescue responded to the scene at 507 N. 2nd Street.
No one was home when the fire started, so no injuries have been reported. As of Tuesday night, there's not a whole lot left of the home. Neighbors told KSFY News that they weren't sure what happened when they heard the explosion.
"I just heard a boom, you know, and then I came outside cause there was police officers all around my house," Neighbor Michele West said. "I came out to see what's going on and everyone was everywhere and this house was on fire."
"I was in my garage and it just went bang, and I came out and looked and there was pieces laying all over and fire coming out of the house," Next-Door Neighbor Joseph Malsam said.
Malsam and a few others neighbors gathered around, wondering what happened and quickly called 911.
"We did have flames showing and obvious structural damage to the house. We pulled the handlines and started an attack line and evacuated surrounding houses and utilities were called in," Aberdeen Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Stacy Vrchota said.
Aberdeen Fire and Rescue brought in 16 firefighters, including several who were off duty, to fight the flames in these freezing conditions.
"Brown County Emergency Management came in [and] brought in the rehab trailer," Vrchota said. "It gives us a place to come in, rotate crews, warm them up."
Making sure water continues to move through the hoses is important.
"When it's this cold and the water stops flowing, that's when it's gonna freeze, so anything that we have charged we'll keep water flowing out of that. We may slow the rate down considerably, but just enough to keep water flowing and keep things from freezing," Vrchota said.
Neighbors say the owners were renovating the home.
"It was beautiful, you know? They put new siding on it and everything. It was great, but now it's just in shambles, but at least everyone's safe," West said.
Vrchota said Northwestern Energy checked out surrounding homes for any more gas leaks and everything is good to go.
Crews will stay on scene to keep an eye out for any flare-ups overnight. Parts of North 2nd Street will remain closed until sometime on Wednesday.
For the original story along with pictures, visit the link to the right of the article.