Church Fire at 14th and Dakota: Why firefighters stayed on the scene for hours after the fire was extinguished

St. Michael Ethiopian Orthodox Church near 14th and Dakota in Sioux Falls
Published: Mar. 6, 2022 at 6:40 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -Sioux Falls Fire Rescue responded to a church fire near 14th and Minnesota Avenue in Sioux Falls on Sunday just after 12:30 PM.

As crews arrived, they saw smoke and flames coming from the front door and windows of St. Michael Ethiopian Orthodox Church, located at 601 S. Dakota Avenue. First responders were told children could possibly be inside, prompting multiple fire crews to conduct searches. Later it was confirmed that everyone had safely evacuated.

The fire was predominant in the southeast corner of the building.

After knocking down the fire in 20 minutes, crews remained on the scene to monitor the structure. The unique floor plan, void spaces, and smoldering insulation presented a challenge, allowing for additional fires to ignite. Firefighters remained on site for four hours until concerns of additional fires had passed.

Although the basement level had moderate smoke damage, heavy fire and smoke damage are reported on the main floor.

This structure did not have a sprinkler system. The fire is currently under investigation.

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