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Fire levels Bear Paw home


Courtesy photo

Fire continues to burn the home of Sandy and Micheala Strauser Wednesday morning south of Havre. The Strausers escaped the house with their two children but the lost the house and everything inside.

A fire destroyed a home south of Havre Wednesday morning and the cause is uncertain.

Josh Bebee, the fire chief of the Bear Paw Volunteer Fire Department, said the fire department was unable to determine what caused the fire that lasted from around 5:30 to 9 a.m. Wednesday morning.

The fire destroyed the house belonging to Sandy and Michaela Strauser and their two children. They were able to escape from the house without physical injuries, but all their possessions were engulfed in the flames.

"From what we know, they just woke up with the smoke and flames and got out," Bebee said.

Wednesday around 8:30 a.m. Bebee said the fire had been fought down into the basement.

"We're just trying to keep it contained and in the basement so it doesn't spread out into the field," Bebee said. " ... They got out alive. They're lucky."

The fire destroyed all the home but its foundation and began while the family was sleeping.

Julie Strauser, the mother of Sandy, lives on the same property as her son and his family and said she is housing them temporarily.

Wednesday afternoon, Sandy and his family were in town buying essentials, Julie said.

"They got out with their sweatpants on," Strauser said. "No shoes, no sock, no nothing."

Strauser said there was no plan as to the next step for her son's family.

"Let the shock settle a little bit first," she said.

The Bear Paw Volunteer Fire Department covers a district that runs south to Chouteau County and stretches north to U.S. Highway 2.


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