Family’s home saved for third time against fires

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The fire grew to 2,224 acres as it burned the Schroeder, Westberry Trails, Pinedale Heights, National Guard camp, Cleghorn Canyon and Nameless Cave areas in west Rapid City. About 400 to 500 residents were evacuated March 29 with some returning to their homes Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Public Information Officer Stephanie Cooke said only one residence on Blue Sky Trail was lost to the fire along with two pole barns. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, although they reported it was human-caused.

The gazebo fell to the wind in 2020, so all the pieces were in a pile on the ground on the northwest corner of the backyard. 

Rice said she’s always been strong in her faith, but it’s grown stronger over the past few years. She said Easter weekend was different this year for her family.

“We were so thankful to have our home and no smoke damage in the house,” she said. “We didn’t go out to a restaurant, we wanted to eat at home because we had a home.”

Rice said this is the third time her house was saved from a fire — it also survived the 1988 Westberry Trails fire that burned down her mother-in-law’s home and the 2012 fire in the same area.

Despite the now three times the fire has come close to their house, Rice said her family isn’t leaving.

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