Man perishes in Rapid City grass fire Saturday night
RAPID CITY, S.D. — At around 8:55 p.m. on October 10, police were dispatched to a report of a grass fire in a wooded area just to the southwest of 1180 Creek Drive.
On arrival police made contact with a witness as the Rapid City Fire Department began working to extinguish the fire.
The witness indicated that one person had not made it out of the wooded area after the fire started, and police entered the wooded area after the majority of the fire was extinguished and located an adult male who was deceased as a result of the fire.
An autopsy has been conducted on the deceased male, and it is determined that his cause of death to be smoke inhalation. Due to the extensive nature of the injuries, further forensic test results will be needed to positively identify the individual.
The area of the fire has been identified as a makeshift camp frequented by members of the city’s homeless population, and according to witnesses, several camp fires had been started in the area by camp residents prior to the grass fire.
The fire and unattended death remain under investigation.