Wednesday, December 13, 2006

House On Fire

I got a call this morning from my brother. My Uncle Biggy's house burned down. This house was the house that my grandparents had lived in. Where my father and his brothers were born. And above and beyond all of that it was my uncles home.

I guess he kept the ashes from his wood burning stove - near the stove in the basement (where he also had his gun room). I guess there was something hot in the ash - it caught the gun room on fire and then the large stack of wood.

He never married or had any kids, so my cousins, who live near him, are helping out. I've tried to call him - but of course his phone doesn't work. I feel so sorry for my uncle. He had no insurance - never thought he needed it - and he had spent is whole life in the house. Now I'm just trying to figure out if there is anything I can do to help.

The article from the Kalispell News Paper:
Man, dog escape fire that guts home

The Daily Inter Lake

A wood stove started a fire Tuesday evening in the basement of a home in the 100 block of South Meridian Road, extensively damaging the house.

No one was seriously hurt; the owner and his dog escaped the fire and went to a neighbor’s house.

The Kalispell, West Valley, Smith Valley, and South Kalispell fire departments, and Marion Ambulance responded.

Firefighters were challenged by heavy smoke and heat, along with explosions from ammunition inside the house. For 20 minutes, firefighters tried to suppress the fire, according to F. Ray Ruffato of the Kalispell Fire Department.

The fire spread to the first floor of the home, and firefighters were called out of the building for their safety.

The older two-story home sustained at least $80,000 and is not inhabitable, Ruffato said. Fire damage extended from the basement through the roof. The home and its contents reportedly are uninsured.

Ruffato said 18 firefighters from the Kalispell department were on the scene and about 20 from the neighboring departments.

A firefighter from the West Valley department hurt his wrist in a fall. Marion Ambulance took him to the hospital, where he was treated and released.

Further investigation into the cause of the fire is uncertain, because officials are worried that the basement of the house may be unsafe to explore, Ruffato said.


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Anonymous said...


I stopped by to leave you a link to a funny story but am v. sorry to hear about your uncle's house. A fellow grad student's apt burned down when I was in school with him... he needed the basics (clothes, toothbrush, shampoo etc.) because he couldn't grab anything but his car keys. Maybe a large Walmart or mall card so he can get these things fast?

Here is the link I came to leave... maybe it will cheer you up some?