A local family spent the end of their Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend dealing with the loss of their home.
The Havre Police Department received a call about the Iron Bear family’s connected mobile homes, in the Clear Creek Trailer Court, glowing and smoking at 8:20 p. m. Sunday night.
According to Havre Fire Chief Dave Sheppard, the department sent two fire engines and an ambulance, carrying a 13-member team to combat the flames and care for those affected.
They had succeeded and declared their work done at 11:08 p. m.
No one was injured.
Kim Iron Bear, the sole provider for seven children, said this morning he was out fixing a tire on his sister’s car when he heard about the fire from his oldest daughter.
Ahliyah Iron Bear, who, at 16 years old, was the oldest occupant of the house at the time. She said this morning that she was watching little brothers and a sister Sunday night.
“My little brother said he heard crackling and smelled something, ” Ahliyah Iron Bear said. “I went to check it out and the whole area behind our couch was in flames. ”
The damage to the two-conjoined trailers was “extensive. ”
“Both are a total loss, ” Sheppard said this morning.
“She managed to get all the kids out safe even though they left in their pajamas, ” Kim Iron Bear said.
Sheppard also said that the fire was still under investigation.
He said the source was not of the obvious go-to solutions, like a furnace, water heater or stove top. The fire appears to have started in a living room area that was also being used as a sleeping area.
The family is residing in the Budget Inn. Ahliyah Iron Bearsaid she didn’t know how long they would have to be there.
Kim Iron Bear said he and seven kids are waiting in two hotel rooms to find a new place to live.
Kim Iron Bear said some friends have been using social media like Facebook to organize donations to replace all they’d lost, once they are able to relocate.
For the time being, he said, anyone who wants to help out can bring donations by the Budget Inn or, according to his mother-in-law, Florence Matte, contact relatives Deena James and LaLita Swan who are gathering support on Facebook.