After a fire on Havre’s east end left a family without a home or clothes over the weekend, the community quickly rallied support and have been helping them get back up.
The bathroom in Tedi Rose Miller’s home caught fire around 6:49 p.m. Sunday. The fire spread and caused $5,000 worth of heat and smoke damage by the time it was extinguished.
Havre Fire Chief Dave Sheppard said Monday the fire started with children playing with a lighter, which ignited a towel. The fire spread to a shower curtain and then filled the room.
Monday morning, Miller’s sister-in-law Eva Stanmeyer reached out to the popular “Havre,MT - online yard sale” group for support, seeking donations for Miller’s 9-year-old daughter and sons aged three, five and 12 years old, and urging anyone to call her at 390-2351 about how they can help.
Stanmeyer put out a call for boy’s clothes sized 12-13, 5T and 3T; size 16 in young girl’s clothing; size 10-11 men’s shoes; size 6 women’s shoes; and any winter coats or linens to replace those lost.
“Everything was smoke destroyed and nothing much is salvageable,” Stanmeyer explained.
Within an hour there were 12 responses from four people. Another 14 chimed in with help over the next few hours, offering dishes and glassware and furniture.
At the group’s suggestion, the family called the local Salvation Army and Red Cross, who put them up temporarily in a hotel.
As they work on rebuilding, Miller and Stanmeyer can’t believe the support they’ve found.
“I think it’s amazing,” Stanmeyer said this morning. “I’m from a large city in Florida, and there would never be such an outpouring of kindness for my family.
“So many people have come forward to donate, and they still are.”