Fire damages Saddle Butte home, pet crematorium


Last updated 10/9/2023 at 12:17pm

Havre Fire Department responded to three fires in the Havre area over the weekend.

Saturday at 8:33 a.m., Havre firefighters were called to a structure fire on the 2600 Block of 34th Street Southeast, in the Saddle Butte area of Rural Fire District 1. Fire Chief Nathan Courtnage said that seven personnel in two engines and an ambulance were on-scene. In mutual aid, Bear Paw Volunteer Fire Department also sent crew members with two engines and a water tender, and Chinook Volunteer Fire Department sent a crew with a water tender. Kremlin Volunteer Fire Department was also dispatched initially, he added, but that request was rescinded after the scene was assessed.

The structure, a pet crematorium, was a total loss from fire, and the attached home was seriously damaged by smoke and water, Courtnage said, adding that an elderly woman was treated for smoke inhalation and transported to the hospital, but that was the only injury from the blaze.

Courtnage said that the Havre Fire report says that the fire may have started with equipment in the crematorium, but the official fire investigation will come from Hill County Sheriff’s Office acting as fire marshal for Rural Fire 1. No one was made available at the sheriff’s office for comment due to the federal holiday.

Keanan Engelhardt, who said he is the grandson of the home and business owners, Steve and Mary Englehardt, said the family has set up a GoFundMe account at to help the Englehardts recover from the damage to their home and crematorium and pet cemetery, Saddle Butte Memorial Gardens. Keanan Engelhardt said he can be reached at 310-617-1630.

A Havre Fire crew also responded Sunday at 8:06 a.m. to a fire in the alley on the 1000 Block of First Street where transients had lit a fire in a wood stove in an abandoned building, Courtnage said. The stove was not properly installed he said. The crew put out the fire, which was contained to the stove.

Also on Sunday, a fire crew was called at 2:01 p.m. to an electrical fire on the 1400 Block of U.S. Highway 2 Northwest where a light ballast got hot and melted wires, Courtnage said, adding that a maintenance man for the building had been onsite and had put out the fire before the fire crew arrived. Firefighters checked the burned area, which was contained to the light fixture and surrounding siding, to make sure the fire was fully extinguished before returning to the station.


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