Nameless Cave evacuees recall fear, challenge of evacuating for Schroeder fire

"It definitely makes ya thankful that they can even, you know, address a fire of that magnitude," said Dana Nordquist of the firefighters efforts to fight the Schroeder fire.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — After days of being evacuated while crews battle the Schroeder fire, families who live on Nameless Cave and Cleghorn Canyon Road were given the okay to go home.

A fire that scorched over 2,000 acres, claimed one home and a few outbuildings, but left others relatively untouched, like the home of Tim and Dana Nordquist.

“The only proof right there is the sheriff’s flag hanging there,” said Tim Nordquist, pointing to crime scene tape on his front porch.

Something, they’re reminiscent of.

Evacuees 5

“It definitely makes ya thankful that they can even, you know, address a fire of that magnitude,” Dana said.

The Nordquists were on their way back from a concert in Colorado, when they got a call from a friend, warning them of the fire coming towards their property on Nameless Cave.

“He said that there was a fire and it looked like it was lining up for the cave,” Dana said.

They live with five family members, who were forced to take what they could, and get out of the area. One of the things their 11-year-old grandson took, a picture, from when Tim and Dana were in their 20s, recently married.

“He asked me, you know, what grandma would you have wanted me to grab and I said, ‘Yourself,'” Dana said.

They quickly traveled home, not knowing whether it would still be standing by the time they arrived..

“We went through tears and agony early on as we listened to the news and got the reports,” Tim recalled.

The only way they knew their home was still there? Calling their answering machine.

“The answering machine hadn’t burned out,” Tim said.

“Ya, that was the only indicator that it was still standing,” said Dana.

The Nordusts are back in their home now, where they say they’ll be prepared for the next fire event that they hope never happens.

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