A small South Dakota community is grieving after a family died in a house fire early Thursday morning.
Scott and Nicole Westerhuis and their children -- Michael, Connor, Jaeci and Kailey died in that fire.
The home is located just outside of Platte.
Someone spotted the fire just after 5:30 Thursday morning as they were driving by.
It's hard to imagine an entire family being taken away in an instant and that is what family and friends are trying to come to grips with tonight. "They had four kids and we have four kids and our oldest are sophomores and have done everything together." Kristina Sprik says the Westerhuis family did everything together -- if one had an activity, they all went to support each other. "Very supportive of their kids. They didn't miss anything. Anything that they're kids were in they didn't miss any event we went to the little ones were always there watching."
Those closest to them say faith was a big part of their life. The Westerhuis family belonged to First Reformed Church. Pastor Harry Koops tells us, "I had the privilege of baptizing their children , wee active participants in life of church as well as the youth groups." The fire that took the Westerhuis family Thursday morning destroyed their home and left A town in shock.
"It's going to be a very big hole in my kids lives and in this towns hearts." .
"I think it's a reminder for all of us that we never know what the day holds and that life is uncertain and the most important thing we can do in life is make sure we have a relationship with Jesus."
It's clear the Westerhuis family has left their mark on so many people in and around their community. The cause of the fire is still unknown at this time.