Alice Campbell Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
When three fire trucks and eight firefighters arrived at a fire on the 1600 block of 29th Avenue North at 3:12 p.m. Wednesday, the building was engulfed. "The roof was already in the building," Havre Fire Chief Dave Sheppard said this morning. Nicole Beukelman, who watched the fire from across a field, said when she arrived at approximately 3:20 p.m., she could see a person running from the building with items in his arms. The building was unidentifiable by the time she got there, she added. The building, an old trailer used for storage, was a total loss, its owner Ken Erickson with E-1 Towing said Wednesday. "It was just storage," Erickson continued. "It had used auto parts stored in the building," Sheppard said. There were no injuries. An employee of E-1 Towing accidentally started the fire, Erickson said, when he started a generator with the muffler too close to combustible material. "We're just happy the employee's all right," Erickson said. "The building was really worthless." Sheppard confirmed that a generator caused the blaze and said that since the cause has been determined, no further investigation will take place. The blaze did not damage any other structures, and only minor damage occurred to surrounding grass, she said. "If the wind had been different, this way (east), it could have been a different story," neighbor Cody Boe said, adding that he felt lucky. Erickson said he planned to move the building, owned by his towing company, to the dump, next spring and that it was being used as temporary storage while the main E-1 building was renovated. "We're just gonna clean up the mess and go on. Tomorrow's a new day," Erickson said.