RAPID VALLEY - The wife of an Ellsworth Air Force Base airman deployed overseas escaped harm when the couple's house caught fire, but three of their pets died in the blaze.

The Rapid City Journal reports that the woman was home alone when the Rapid Valley home's second-floor deck caught fire near a propane grill Thursday. Another woman helped the homeowner and her dogs escape the flames, but three cats were later found dead inside the destroyed house.

Rapid Valley Fire Chief Tim Kobes says the blaze is not considered suspicious.

The Air Force and the Black Hills Red Cross are helping the woman, who was not identified.

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