Family loses everything in home fire


A Mobridge family lost everything in an unusually hot and stubborn fire that kept the Mobridge and Glenham Volunteer Fire Departments busy this weekend as a North Main home was destroyed in the blaze.

Larena (Selzer) Mosset reported the fire in her home at 6:27 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11. Both fire departments responded to the call as well as Mobridge Police and the Mobridge Ambulance Service.

The fire was well established when the responders arrived, according to an officer on the scene. There was smoke coming from the windows and doors.

According to Mobridge Fire Chief Brad Milliken, the fire started in the kitchen. He said because of the building materials in the home, the grease fire spread quickly. The home had a tin ceiling and metal roof, which trapped the heat of the fire making it difficult for firefighters to stay inside to fight the flames.

Because of the metal materials used firefighters had difficulty getting to the fire, which had spread into the insulation in the attic. Milliken said the insulation was older and when the firefighters were able to spray water into the attic after removing part of the metal roof, pieces of burning insulation would jump to other areas of the attic, igniting more insulation. He said a lot of water used to cool the metal in order for squads to be able to fight the fire inside the home.

Milliken said they knew it was going to be a long night of keeping a close watch on the situation and he decided to give the squads a break when there was a chance. The fire departments left the scene at about 10:15 p.m., but returned at 10:30 p.m. when the fire again flared up.

“When we left the first time we knew we would be going back. We wanted to get back to the fire hall to get dry and get something to drink,” he said. “We hoped we might have about an hour but it flared up again in about 15 minutes.”

Both departments returned to scene and were there until about 1:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Then again at about noon on Sunday, the fire department was called as smoke was seen coming from the home.

“We were there about an hour on Sunday,” said Milliken. “In the light we could see what we were doing.”

The firefighters were able to keep the fire contained to one structure although other homes may have had some smoke damage, Milliken said.

He said the Mobridge department appreciated the help they received from the Glenham squad as the extra equipment and manpower helped in a difficult situation.

He urges homeowners to ensure they have a working fire extinguisher in their home and that they educate themselves in how to use it and how to extinguish the different types of fires.

A relief fund account for the Mosset family, who was renting the home owned by Peggy Wendt of Glenham, has been set up at Dacotah Bank in Mobridge. Mosset and her three children, ages 12, 7 and 5, lost all of their belongings in the fire.

St. Joseph’s Knights of Columbus are planning a Freewill pancake and sausage breakfast Sunday for the family.

Breakfast will be served in the new addition at St. Joseph Catholic Church from 9 a.m. until noon.

– Katie Zerr –






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