By Tim Leeds 

Fire marshal statement appears to contradict county statements on closing Jaycees haunted house

Escape room appears to have made modifications to stay open


Last updated 10/21/2021 at 4:29pm

4:19 p.m. A statement from the state fire marshal appears to contradict what Havre Daily News was told earlier today, that the Jaycees haunted house at the Great Northern Fairgrounds and the escape room there had been canceled due to orders from the state fire marshal's office.

Fairgrounds manager Frank English said this morning he was told by the county to shut the operations down due to fire code violations.

Hill County Commissioner Mark Peterson said this afternoon that Fire Marshal Dirk Johnson said in an email that the haunted house and escape room were a "no-go."

Peterson said he would forward the email to the Havre Daily News but had not done so by the time this was posted.

But Johnson, the acting state fire marshal, said in an email to Havre Daily that he had not issued any such instructions or orders.

"The State Fire Marshall’s Office would not issue a shutdown order without first doing an inspection – neither of which has occurred in this instance," Johnson said in the email. "At the request of fairgrounds personnel, the State Fire Marshall’s Office did a walk-through in March and pointed out potential issues should they want to hold large events and an inspection later be requested. To date, no such inspection has been requested."

The owner of the escape room notified the Havre Daily about 2:30 she was able to make some modifications and keep that activity open and running.

Watch for updates here.


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