Weekend Fire Consumes Historic Havre Home

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HAVRE, Mont. (NMB) – A weekend fire in Havre consumed an historic single-family residence, displacing a father and his daughter and killing three of their pets.

A press release from Havre Fire Department Chief Nathan Courtnage says they were dispatched to 320 1st Avenue at about 4:20 AM on Sunday morning.

The residence had historic significance, as it was the original home of Havre luminaries H. Earl and Margaret Turner Clack.

The family was able to escape thanks to a smoke alarm that alerted them while they were sleeping. However, their belongings were destroyed.

The home was insured and they are receiving help from family, friends, and the community.

Upon arrival, the initial fire crew found the 2-story home with fire inside at the back of the house and pressurized smoke coming from the eaves. A third alarm was called for all personnel to respond.

The crew was able to control utilities and were able to enter through the front door after getting a knockdown of the fire through a rear window.

The crew was met with heavy smoke and heat. They were able to gain control of the fire in the basement and kitchen, but the fire spread throughout the attic space and walls of the upstairs room.

A second crew was sent to the second floor of the house to attack the fire, but all interior crews had to be pulled from the house due to safety concerns after the fire vented through the roof.

A defensive attack was initiated and remained in place until the fire was under control.

The fire has been determined to have originated in the basement. However, the cause remains undetermined due to the structural integrity of the house.

The roof of the structure collapsed and the house sustained major heat, fire, smoke and water damage. It was a total loss.

In total, two engines, two ambulances, one ladder truck, one command vehicle, and 10 firefighters responded.

Assisting Agencies included Havre Police, Havre Public Works, and Northwestern Energy.

Courtnage says the smoke alarm saved the family from a devastating outcome, and encourages everyone to make sure they have working smoke alarms in all bedrooms and one additional smoke alarm on every level of your home. Check batteries yearly and make sure to have an escape plan that is discussed and practiced regularly.

A GoFundMe to help the family recover from this tragic event has been set up and is open for people to donate to.

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