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Firefighters are busy Monday afternoon at property located at 21320 Nobles County 13 in Summit Lake Township. (Ryan McGaughey/Daily Globe)

Fire destroys home near Rushmore

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RUSHMORE -- A rural Rushmore home was destroyed by fire Monday afternoon and the family dog lost in the blaze.

Firefighters from the Wilmont and Rushmore fire departments were dispatched to the Rick Flatgard home at 21320 Jones Ave., north of Rushmore, at 12:32 p.m. When they arrived, the home was totally engulfed.

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"The fire was coming out of the roof and it was coming out of the windows -- she was just fully enflamed," Wilmont Assistant Fire Chief Jim Balster said.

Monday's winds caused the fire to spread quickly, making it impossible to save the structure.

Balster said that while a generator was providing power to the home, it was sitting outside and wasn't damaged in the blaze. He speculated the fire could have been caused by a space heater or an electrical issue, but he and other firefighters were unsure.

Power had not yet been restored to the home since an ice storm blanketed the area last Tuesday. Because of that, Balster said firefighters didn't have to worry about shutting power off or the potential dangers of electrocution. Also, the propane tank was far enough away from the house and wasn't much of a concern.

Approximately 15 firefighters battled the blaze, with water trucked in from both Wilmont and Rushmore. Crews were on the scene until about 4 p.m.

By then, Balster said a payloader had pushed much of the house down -- that was necessary to get the flames out.

"It's a bunch of sticks," Balster said of the shell still standing. The fire was contained to the home.

Daily Globe Reporter Julie Buntjer may be reached at 376-7330.

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Julie Buntjer
Julie Buntjer joined the Daily Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington and graduate of Worthington High School, then-Worthington Community College and South Dakota State University, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. At the Daily Globe, Julie covers the agricultural beat, as well as Nobles County government, watersheds, community news and feature stories. In her spare time, she enjoys needlework (cross-stitch and hardanger embroidery), reading, travel, fishing and spending time with family. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at www.farmbleat.areavoices.com.
(507) 376-7330
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