Pettigrew Heights neighborhood coming together following deadly fire

A deadly fire that left one person dead Monday morning is bringing together the Pettigrew Heights neighborhood in central Sioux Falls.
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 4:21 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A deadly fire that left one person dead Monday morning is bringing together the Pettigrew Heights neighborhood in central Sioux Falls, as others in the community are looking out for those who lost items and possessions to the fire. It’s also a reminder for some that more needs to be done on smoke alarm education.

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue crews responded to a structure fire around 3:30 a.m. Monday at the 500 block of West 9th Avenue. The first crews on the scene observed smoke coming from the second floor of an apartment building. Crews located a victim and removed them from the building, where they were pronounced dead.

As of Monday afternoon, Sioux Falls Fire Rescue and the Sioux Falls Police Department are still investigating the origin and cause of the fire.

MORE: Fatal fire reported in central Sioux Falls apartment

Others in the building are now dealing with the aftermath of the fire, including personal belongings damaged due to the fire and water damage.

“People are shaken up in that building, because of course they have a lot of water damage from it,” Pettigrew Heights Neighborhood Association President Sierra Broussard said.

The fire is the second deadly incident in the neighborhood in about three months. That stabbing left one dead and one injured in late October.

MORE: Murder was in “pretty safe” area where crime is targeted, says resident

Broussard said Monday morning’s fire had the potential to become much worse, but the responding fire crews contained the fire the best they could. It raises a reminder for their community, as well as others in Sioux Falls, about the importance of working fire alarms.

“It could’ve been engulfed in flames, and we could’ve had possibly more fatalities or more injuries,” Broussard said. “Whether in a rental unit or not a rental unit, we need to make sure that our fire alarms are working, that we have batteries in them, and to not dislocate the batteries from the designated spots.”

What the association is working on now is making sure those who lost items and belongings in the fire or to water damage are taken care of. Broussard said the association has an account set up to raise funds to help those in need.

“Some of these tenants have fire insurance, some of them don’t. I know that their stuff has gotten damaged, clothes and it’s winter time, that has gotten damaged from the fire. We do have an account set up at Black Hills Credit Union right up the street,” Broussard said. “Most of these individuals lost a lot of their stuff. So if we could try and come together.”

Broussard said those interested in donating money or items can contact the Pettigrew Neighborhood Association at (605)-929-7144.