Fire claims trailer

By Carrie Moore

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A trailer house was lost after a structure fire occurred Tuesday night, Dec. 20.

The page went out at 7:50 p.m. Tuesday with a report of a structure fire at 11967 W. Hwy 16, Lot 4. The 14×70 trailer and its contents, as well as two vehicles owned by the occupant were a total loss. No other structures were damaged.

Hank Douma, the single occupant of the home was transported to Rapid City Regional Hospital via Custer Ambulance Service for burns sustained in the fire, according to Bill Bell, Custer Volunteer Fire Department’s first assistant chief.

According to Douma’s sister, Danelle Stephens, her brother was later taken to the Western States Burn Center in Greely, Colo., for injuries. Douma received first and second degree burns, in addition to severe burns to his lungs and airway when he went back into the burning trailer to save his cat.

En route to the fire, the Custer Volunteer Fire Department called for mutual aid for water support. Mutual aid came from Pringle Volunteer Fire Department with two personnel and a tender and Argyle Volunteer Fire Department with three personnel and one tender, in addition to CVFD’s eight personnel.

Also present at the scene of the fire was Custer Ambulance Service, two deputies from the Custer County Sheriff’s Department and Black Hills Energy.

The state fire marshal was in Custer Wednesday. As of this time, the cause is undetermined.

A Go Fund Me account has been set up to assist in Douma’s recovery. To donate, visit gofundme.com/hanks-medical-recovery-fund.

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