GREAT FALLS - A family in Sun Prairie lost their home after a fire broke out in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Vaughn Fire Chief Jason McAllister says the call came in just after midnight.
Vaughn, Black Eagle, Gore Hill, the Montana Air National Guard, Sun Prairie, Manchester, the Cascade County Sheriff's Office and the Sally One food truck responded to the call.
Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the roof and the living room biut the home is unlivable due to extensive damage to the living room and the roof.
McAllister says that the fire was caused by bad installation of the fireplace. He also said that the Amelsberg family had recently moved into the home and the wood burning stove was the only source of heat they had.
Heather Amelsberg posted the following message on the KRTV Facebook page: "Right now our belongings are all salvageable, minus some furniture and beds. What we need most is help with patching the roof and wall before the snow falls. That's short term. Of course we should have had home insurance but who knew 10 days in that we'd lose our home. We are looking for a damage assessor to figure out a price range for repairs. If anyone wants to prepare meals for a family of 9 that would be a blessing."
A GoFundMe account has been created to help the family, which includes this overview:
We thank God everyone got out safe, and they were able save all the animals. They closed on their first house Dec. 15th 2017 and were so thankfull. The house wasn’t the nicest and needed work, but it was theirs. They spent their life savings on the down payment and moving. Then the house had a chimney fire Dec 26th. The next morning while trying go back to the house to see the damage, their truck quit. They find themselves with a uninhabitable home, a broken truck, a foot of snow on ground, in the middle of the subzero weather. Thank You from Arin & Heather Amelsberg & kids Hayden (12) Trevor (11) Cory (10) Emma & Austin (9) Jaxon (6) Colton (3)