Spearfish residents donating to families affected by fatal house fire

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SPEARFISH, S.D. -

The Spearfish community is mourning the loss of five children that died in a house fire in the early morning hours Saturday. DETAILS

The cause of the deadly blaze is still under investigation, but the home is destroyed, and the families are left with nothing.

North Ames Street remains quiet after a two-story house fire killed five children trapped in an upstairs bedroom.

"The firefighters tried to make entry when the neighbors and family members told them that there were people trapped inside. They did what they could, but the volume of fire, there was just no way they could get in to perform a search,” said Chief Mark Sachara from the Spearfish Fire Department.

Spearfish police have now released the names of the children ages 6-11, but final identification of the victims is pending as authorities await the results of forensic exams.

READ MORE: RCFD announces donation site for Spearfish fire victims 

The community is coming together to help pick up the pieces for the families that lost everything.

"We have seen overwhelming support. It's phenomenal,” said Kristin Bauslaugh, a member of the Mountain View Baptist Church in Spearfish.

Mountain View Baptist Church and United Methodist Church of Spearfish have opened their doors to donations. The community has banded together to support the local families by donating clothes, shoes, baby items and toiletries.

"I think these donations are going to be a really big help to the families. Obviously, there is a lot more we can't do," Bauslaugh said. "There’s a lot of things that aren't physical."

READ MORE: Community benefit planned in Spearfish for fire victims

Bauslaugh said assistance with food is also needed. The families are now living in hotels, so she recommends gift cards for restaurants or gift cards to purchase perishable foods.

There are also GoFundMe pages helping raise money for the families. A goal is set at $45,000 for the Wilson-Roden and Tate family. Another couple affected is trying to raise $4,000. For one girl lost, another page is set up with a goal of $10,000. 

"It's super tragic, but I think it's amazing how tight of a community we have here in Spearfish," Miranda Swick, a Spearfish resident, said. "Everybody coming here and dropping off all this stuff just shows the love and support that the families have.”

A candlelight vigil will be held near the home Tuesday evening at 7. Additionally, Mountain View Baptist Church will be accepting donations Tuesday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Friday from 9 a.m. until noon.

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