Five children are dead after an overnight tragedy in South Dakota.
According to the Black Hills Pioneer, five children ages six through nine were killed in a housefire in Spearfish — a blaze so intense that firefighters were helpless to rescue the trapped children once they arrived at the scene before dawn.
“Firefighters tried to make entry when the neighbors and family members told them there were people trapped inside,” Spearfish Fire Chief Mark Sachara told the Black Hills Pioneer. “They did what they could, but with the volume of fire, there was just no way they could get in to perform a search.”
Firefighters reportedly took 90 minutes to extinguish the blaze.
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It is not yet known how the fire began or how many adults were in the home when it broke out. Chief Sachara told the news outlet that multiple adults had tried to rescue the children and were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.
According to multiple reports, it does not appear that all five children were related or lived in the neighborhood.
Spearfish Police Lt. Boyd Dean said he believed that all victims had been accounted for, but he could not be sure, given the likelihood that not everyone present during the fire lived at the home.
“To our knowledge all people have been accounted for,” Sachara told the Black Hills Pioneer. “But with the possibility that this was a sleepover or some kind of party, I can’t rule out that when we do a more extensive search, we won’t find any more victims.”
Early reports said there were only four victims instead of five.
This is a developing story and will be updated as we have more information.