The severity of Hingham's fire Saturday evening that hurt the town is now hurting the investigation, according to Deputy Fire Marshal, Dick Swingley of Great Falls.
"We’re doing our best to investigate the cause of this fire," Swingley said. "But sometimes when they are this destructive it’s hard."
The fire hollowed out the old Hingham Bank building and destroyed the old Woodman's Hall building next door, where the fire started then climbed to the roof of the bank.
Hingham's Mayor Ray Lipp said it's been difficult for his town.
"These towns are already not what they used to be, and now we've lost these two buildings," Lipp said. "It's definitely a loss to the community and to those people whose property was lost."
Lipp said the Woodman's Hall had been used as a farm shop by its owner, Walt Myers, who fixes things up for some people around town.
The bank is owned by Rob Spicher, owner of Hingham Motors. He had been using it as storage, keeping tires and supplies in the building.
As a member of the Hingham Volunteer Fire Department he received a call from his fire chief, Larry Horinek, to come help extinguish the fire on his own property.
Horinek, who's also the manager of Rudyard's Farmers’ Union, said he left his house in Hingham around 4:45 p.m. Saturday and smelled smoke.
“I went to investigate it, and I saw smoke coming out of the shop building,” Horinek said.
He immediately signaled the Hingham fire siren and notified the Hill County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff sent out the mutual aid call at 5:55 p.m. Communities across the Hi-Line sent help.
Fire trucks and crews from towns including Inverness, Chester, Rudyard, Joplin and Havre came to help extinguish the flames.
Havre Fire Chief Dave Sheppard said the Havre department sent out a truck with two firefighters who were there for about two hours.
Horinek and his firefighters stayed long after all the help had left. The volunteers took turns watching for flare-ups until the state fire marshal made it to Hingham on Sunday afternoon.