Community comes to aid of fire victims


Havre Daily News/Zach White

Havre firefighters work in and above the house at 406 6th St. during a multi-house fire Monday. Some witnesses had gotten into the house and started moving items to the lawn before firefighters arrived.

It was not long after 5 p. m., and Kody Gilge, owner of Bear Paw Paint, was just returning to his home near 6th Street and 4th Avenue.

He said he noticed some smoke around the corner and decided to take a look at what was going on.

"I saw a bunch of smoke coming out of the back of the house and an old couple standing out front, " Gilge said. "It looked like too much for a barbecue. "

The couple was Les and Lorna Solberg, the grandparents of Kaydee Carnahan, who just bought the house at 406 6th St. with her boyfriend, Kortez Franks, and had moved in last weekend.

The Solbergs were waiting on the front porch of the house for their granddaughter to get home from work to have dinner.

Carnahan said her grandparents were approached by a kid on a bike who asked if they lived there. He told them that the house was on fire.

After Gilge saw the flames and checked with the Solbergs, he went and knocked on the door. When he didn't hear a response, he kicked down the door to see what he could save.

According to Gilge, shortly after he got inside he was joined by someone else and the two grabbed whatever they could and brought it out into the yard for as long as they could.

"On the second or third trip the flames and smoke got so bad we couldn't see anything, " Gilge said. "It got bad so quick. "

When Carnahan and Franks got home, they watched firefighters try and save their new home. Friends and neighbors held and consoled them.

Within 15 minutes of news of the fire being posted to and the paper's Facebook page, comments from sympathetic readers began coming in asking how they could help, wanting to know clothing sizes and anything else the fire's victims would need.

This morning Carnahan said that she and some of the people who work with her and her boyfriend at Walmart would be setting up an account at Stockman Bank through which people could provide financial assistance.

Carnahan said physical items that people want to donate can be brought to her grandparents' house, at 1111 5th St., Apt. 3.

See also: Fire guts home, damages another.


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