The 2010s: 2017

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The news of 2017 was all about fire: a deadly house fire, a massive wildfire and the arrest of a fire chief.

Western KELOLAND was rocked by the loss of five young children in a deadly house fire in Spearfish in April of this year. The kids were at a slumber party and ranged in age from six to 11. They were from Spearfish and Sturgis.

Another fire in the Black Hills in December became one of the largest in state history.

The 84 square-mile Legion Lake fire damaged Custer State Park as well as private ranch land. The fire also led to the death of several of the park’s burros.

Officials say the fire started when a tree fell onto a power line.

Sioux Falls Fire Chief Jim Sideras was set to retire at the end of June 2017 after a nearly 34-year career with the city.

Then in May of 2017, just two months before his retirement, authorities arrested Sideras on child pornography charges.

He was originally charged with 10 counts of possession, but as part of a plea bargain only pled guilty to one count.

He was sentenced in early 2019 to six years in prison, but all six years of his sentence is suspended. As a result, Sideras served no prison time. He registered in March 2019 as a sex offender.

Continue exploring the 2010s. Click here to jump to 2018.