Structural Firefighting

Firefighter Among Two Dead in South Dakota Fire

A firefighter and a civilian died in a Sunday night house fire in Brandon, South Dakota.

“With much sorrow and a heavy heart, Valley Springs Fire & Rescue has lost one of our beloved firefighters last night, while assisting Brandon Fire Department with a structure fire in Brandon,” the department posted on its Facebook page. “Our hearts and prayers are with our brother firefighter, the homeowner and their families. More information to follow later.”

Argus Leader Media reported ( that firefighters removed a victim from the dwelling fire, but after exiting the home one firefighters was missing. The firefighter was found dead in the basement of the home, but has yet to be identified.

UPDATE (2:30 p.m. Eastern): The deceased firefighter has been identified as Steven Ackerman, 38, of Valley Springs (SD) Fire & Rescue. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, Firefighter Ackerman died from injuries sustained while working interior fire operations at the scene of a residential structure fire.

Ackerman was found in the basement of the home after fire crews were ordered out of the structure due to fire conditions. The 47-year-old homeowner, Mr. David Smith, had been rescued by fire crews and transported to the hospital soon after they arrived on scene, but did not survive his injuries. Investigation into the fatal incident continues by local and state authorities.

Ackerman had more than 13 years of service.

CORRECTION: The original report had Mr. Smith’s age as 37.

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