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Published October 19 2012

Relief fund set up for North Dakota town hit by wildfire

BUCYRUS, N.D. – A credit union has established a relief fund for residents of Bucyrus after a wildfire all but destroyed the small southwestern North Dakota community and left residents wondering how the town will recover.

Dakota Plains Federal Credit Union, based in Lemmon, S.D., has set up a fund at its branch in Hettinger, which is near Bucyrus. The credit union also has established a $50,000 pool from which to make low-interest loans to fire victims.

The fire fanned by strong winds burned more than five square miles Wednesday, destroying four homes, two vacant farms and a picture-framing business. The cause of the blaze was not immediately determined. The town’s two dozen residents evacuated their homes, and no one was hurt.

Mike and Evelyn Krug lost their home of 44 years, where they raised six children. Evelyn Krug said she doesn’t know how the community will move on.

“All I can say is ‘Lord help me through this,’ and I know he will,” she said. “Seeing this, I don’t ever want to come back here again.”

Ardella and Ruben Dschaak’s home was saved, but the couple wonders about the future.

“There’ll be a hell of a cleanup,” Ruben Dschaak said.

Jerald Nelson, 75, of Davenport, Iowa, spent much of his childhood in Bucyrus, starting in the late 1930s. At the time, the town had several businesses, a K-12 school and a post office.

“I can relate to the days when Bucyrus was a thriving community,” he said Friday.

Nelson, who has returned to Bucyrus often in his adult life, said he worries about the town’s future now.

“I don’t think there will be any,” he said.

How to help

Donations to the Bucyrus Disaster Relief Fund can be sent to Dakota Plains Federal Credit Union, 221 South Main St., P.O. Box 1020, Hettinger ND 58639.


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