Judy Hagenau got off of work at 10 a. m. today and was headed to her home in the Hacienda Trailer Park on Havre's east side, with her husband Mark. When they got home their home smelled very strongly of natural gas. Minutes later, while they were walking around inside, it exploded.
“I was blown across the trailer, ” Mark said. “It pretty much picked up the trailer and slammed it back down.
“I thought we were goners. ”
Luckily everyone was safe. Both Mark and Judy made it out alive, as did their two daughters, Taewny and Hailey, who were staying with their older sister, according to family friend Misty Swenson.
However most of the belongings were destroyed.
Mark said this afternoon that most everything was lost, and he didn’t know what they were going to do, though his wife has a lot of family in town that could help.
But not only relatives were offering support. Kaydee Carnahan and Kortez Franks, whose house was destroyed two weeks ago in the massive multi-house fire on 6th Street, came to offer their support and to share some of what they had left.
Carnahan said her friend called and asked if she had anything to help with victims of the fire, and she wanted to contribute some of the extra supplies that people had recently given her.
“The community has been nothing but awesome for us with what’s going on and we wanted to return the favor, ” Carnahan said.
When she eventually heard their name she realized that she has known them for a while, working in previous jobs with Judy and currently working at Wal-Mart with Mark.
Like Carnahan and Franks’ fire on 6th Street, Havre Fire Chief Dave Sheppard said that this trailer explosion was caused by a malfunctioning gas line.
Sheppard said that, while investigation was still ongoing, it looked like a natural gas leak was ignited by a water heater or a pilot light.
Swenson said the leak was so bad a neighbor five doors down claimed to have smelled it.
Mark said that last night he and his wife has smelled gas, but it had dissipated by the time they went to bed.
Also last night, the fire department received a call from a trailer on the same block reporting sparking power lines, during the thunderstorm. While firefighters notified NorthWestern Energy, who turned the callers electricity off, Sheppard said the two events are unrelated.
He added that there was significant heat and smoke damage to the rear bedroom and bathroom of the building, with smoke damage throughout.