Homeless man who perished in garage fire was seeking shelter

RAPID CITY, S.D. – The latest on a fatal garage fire on Signal Drive.


Nov. 28

Police have identified a man found dead during the fire as 46-year-old Ivan Hollowhorn of Rapid City. An autopsy shows that he died from smoke inhalation.

According to the Rapid City Police Department, Hollowhorn had a history of using the garage as shelter and was also known to create fires inside the garage for warmth.

Witnesses told police that the occupants of the garage had been drinking before the fire broke out. Investigators believe it was started accidentally.

“Any incident involving the loss of life is a tragedy for our community,” says Assistant Chief of Police Don Hedrick. “Mr. Hollowhorn is representative of Rapid City’s extremely vulnerable homeless population. The RCPD, along with dozens of other local service agencies, work tirelessly to ensure there is always a safe place for our homeless population to find shelter. These direct resources include the Cornerstone Rescue Mission and the ‘safe bed’ services available at the Pennington County Care Campus. Our partnership with these organizations means we can find a safe overnight stay for anyone needing one.”

The Rapid City Police Department is committed to making sure everyone in the community can find a safe place to be for the evening. Should anyone need any assistance taking advantage of these resources, they can always call 605-394-4131 to seek help doing so from the RCPD.

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Body discovered in garage after morning fire; 1 other injured

Nov. 26

An unidentified person was found dead after a garage fire early Monday. Another person was injured.

The fire at 118 Signal Drive was called in at 1:30 a.m. Dispatch informed firefighters that the detached, two-stall garage was occupied, but it was not known if anyone was inside.

Within minutes of the call, flames filled the structure. As firefighters attacked the blaze and stopped its spread, police found a person with non-life-threatening injuries nearby. That person was taken to Regional Health Rapid City Hospital, and their condition is currently unknown.

As firefighters extinguished the flames, a body was discovered in the garage, and that person was pronounced dead. According to Rapid City Fire Department Lt. Jim Bussell, the gender, age and identity of the person is not known.

No other injuries were reported.

The fire threatened two nearby homes but did not damage them.

The fire’s cause is under investigation, and so are the circumstances surrounding the death and injured person. Investigating agencies include the Rapid City Police Department, the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office and the Rapid City Fire Department.

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