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Schroeder Fire destroys Black Hills home, family mourns

Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 12:35 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - A home that survived the fire of 1988 was not so lucky a second time. A Rapid City family grieves the loss of a family home that perished in the flames of the Schroeder Fire overnight Monday.

When Bruce Crosswait purchased land In 1977, he got right to work building a lifelong home for his family. As of Tuesday, The Schroeder Fire is now at about 1,900 acres. One home--Hubbard’s family home--and two outbuildings have been destroyed.

“He was really proud of that house,” Connie Hubbard, Bruce’s daughter, said. “He loved the Black Hills. He loved the fact that this land had been in the family since the 30s. He tried so hard to keep his emotions inside because he was from that generation. But I doubt he would have been able to in this situation. He was very emotional even though he didn’t like to show it. It would have really hurt him greatly.”

When Bruce Crosswait purchase land In 1977 he got right to work building a lifelong home for...
When Bruce Crosswait purchased land In 1977 he got right to work building a lifelong home for his family. His daughter, Connie Hubbard, remembers her childhood home. The home has been threatened by wildfires before but the Schroeder fire destroyed the house Monday.(Connie Hubbard)

Hubbard remembers her childhood home. The home has been threatened by wildfires before, but the Schroeder Fire destroyed the house Monday night.

“Only by virtue of the fact that the firefighters did such a fantastic job did that house survive. It was Slurrily bombed and that’s the only reason it was still standing, up till yesterday,” Hubbard said.

The home is one of two known structures devasted by the current fires raging in the Black Hills. Although Hubbard’s family no longer owns the home it was a lasting memory of her father.

“He and my brother and their contract friend, Bob Steele, built the house. We lived in it for quite some time. But what we remember one of the strongest darkest memories was the Westbury Fire in 1988,” Hubbard said.

Hubbard still owns a home in the area down from her father’s original structure. Its status is still unknown, but Hubbard is cautiously optimistic.

“We’re feeling maybe not as surprising as some people might be because we know this is what happens in the Black Hills. So I’m still a little on edge because I know we’re not at the end of this ordeal,” Hubbard said.

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