Jan 1, 2013 10:31 AM by Claire Anderson - MTN News
CONRAD - An 11-year old girl suffered serious burns in a house fire in Conrad on Sunday evening.
The girl, who was home alone at the time, called her mother, who was at work, and told her that the Christmas tree was on fire.
Her mother immediately called 911, with authorities saying that the girl did not leave the home immediately, but do not yet know why.
The girl's step-father then arrived at the home and broke down the locked door to get inside and rescue the girl.
That's when neighbor Carl Suta and his son Dakota discovered what was happening, and rushed to help.
"Right as we came outside he was laying out there with his daughter they were just at the end of the door right there," Dakota recalled.
"I ran over to help and I think she wasn't breathing, her respirations, I gave her a couple breaths and then she kind of coughed and she started breathing on her own," Carl said.
Conrad Fire Chief Carl Moritz noted, "This smoke detector was going off when we showed up, so it was working, we just don't know why she didn't leave the house."
The girl was transported via Mercy Flight helicopter to Benefis hospital in Great Falls, and was then taken to a burn unit at a hospital in Salt Lake City.
The apartment unit is a total loss, and fire officials say both family dogs died in the fire.
Community members are starting a bank account to raise money to help support the family and cover medical costs.
The girl's father, who is a resident of Great Falls, is currently in Salt Lake City with his daughter, and her mother is on her way there now.
We will update you with information about how you can help as we learn more.