Oahe FCU Reacts Quickly to Support Fire Victims
by Shawn Marie Brummer
Communications & Media Specialist
1/20/2021

A large apartment fire displaced many residents of the Edgewater Apartments late last week in the city of Pierre, South Dakota. Compounding the tragedy were strong winds with gusts up to 60 mph and cooling temperatures, which made conditions very difficult for the firefighters. Thankfully, everyone was safely evacuated from the building.

According to local news, the apartment complex housed 38 apartments, 35 occupied with tenants. The building was a total loss and firefighters spent all night Thursday into Friday morning battling the flames.

The fire was reported at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 14. At 8:41 p.m., Oahe Federal Credit Union posted the following message on their Facebook page: “Starting tomorrow, Oahe Federal Credit Union will be taking any donations for the people affected by the Edgewater fire. Please drop them off at 221 E Pleasant Drive. If you are one that has been affected by the fire, please contact us at 605-224-6264 so we can get you items that you may need. If you would like to donate to these families an account has been established at Oahe FCU.”

On Friday, January 15 Oahe FCU went Live on Facebook to show how many donations had been received. You can watch their video here. Then, the credit union remained open on both Saturday and Sunday for limited hours to allow those affected more time to pick up needed items. River Cities Public Transit also pitched in, offering free rides to the credit union for those who needed to pick up items.  

“When my coworker Jaymason Bramblee and I saw the social media posts about the fire, we knew that we needed to do something to help these families,” said Julia Diedrich, Assistant Manager/Loan Officer at Oahe FCU. “It was just heartbreaking. We quickly put up a post on the credit union’s Facebook page about opening our office for donations for the fire victims. The response was incredible! Our community and surrounding communities have been amazing! By 3:00 pm Friday afternoon we had to stop the donations because we ran out of room! With the help of staff and family members, we were able to get things sorted so it was easier for families to come down and get items they needed,” she added.

Besides distributing household and personal items for the fire victims, Oahe FCU has established an account to accept cash donations. If you would like to contribute, you may contact the credit union at 605.224.6264 or you can submit a donation through Venmo – username EdgewaterApartment-FireDonatio. All proceeds donated will be given directly to the families affected by the fire.

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