The South Dakota State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating a house explosion that killed a baby and her grandparents and left two young children hospitalized with burns.
The house about 11 miles (about 18 kilometers) southwest of Fort Pierre exploded around 10.20am Wednesday, Stanley County Sheriff Brad Rathbun said.
The sheriff said six-month-old Harper Hupp and her grandmother, LaDonna Hupp, 61, died at the scene. William Hupp, 66, died at a hospital.
Two boys, five-year-old Myles and three-year-old Royce, were seriously injured and flown to a burn unit at a St. Paul, Minnesota, hospital.
The children’s parents, Kelsey and Trevor Hupp, were at work in Pierre at the time of the explosion. LaDonna and William Hupp were Trevor Hupp’s parents.
Kelsey Hupp said on a Caring Bridge account Thursday that Myles has mostly first- and second-degree burns on 10 per cent of his body and Royce suffered third-degree burns on 25 per cent of his body on his chest and arms.
“(Myles) squeezes my hand and wiggles his toes. He even fought sedation one time and sat up and looked around. He is stable,” Kelsey Hupp wrote.
Royce’s recovery will take longer than his brother’s, their mother wrote, but he also wiggles his toes and at one point woke up from sedation. Both boys are intubated, she said.
“The boys have a long road ahead of them, but we are just so thankful that we even have this road with them,” she wrote. “They are strong and will persevere. I will do my best to update as I can because I know everyone cares. Please don’t stop praying. I’m going to need every ounce I can get to continue. We love our family, friends and community so much.”
Funds to support the family have been set up on GoFundMe and at First Dakota National Bank, where Trevor Hupp worked.
Mr Rathbun said neighbors in the rural area heard the blast and alerted authorities.
The South Dakota State Fire Marshal’s office is investigating the cause of the explosion. Rathbun said foul play is not suspected.