GREAT FALLS — A young child died in a house fire in Lewistown on Thursday.
A news release from Jon Polich, the Lewistown assistant chief, says that at about 1:30 p.m., smoke and flames were seen coming from a house on the 300 block of West Water Street.
When emergency crews arrived, a woman outside the house said that her three-year-old daughter was still in the house. Officers and firefighters tried to get inside to rescue the child, but were unable due to the fire "consuming the residence."
Once the fire was extinguished, emergency responders found the body of the child inside.
The mother was taken to Central Montana Medical Center for treatment of injuries she sustained; the nature of her injuries has not been disclosed. One police officer was also taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries sustained while trying to rescue the child.
An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway. The agencies involved include the Fergus County Coroner's Office, Lewistown Fire Department, Lewistown Police Department, and State Fire Marshal.
The identity of the child has not been released at this point.
The news release states: "All emergency responders would like to extend their deepest condolences to the family that was affected by this tragic incident."
A GoFundMe account has been created to help the family.
Hi, my name is Marissa. Earlier today my sister matika and her husband Levi’s house caught fire with their 3 year old baby girl and my sister inside. My sister is currently being mercy flown to Salt Lake City to their burn unit. Unfortunately my niece did not make it out alive. I’m starting a fundraiser to help Levi and My sister with medical expenses, travel expenses, and funeral costs for their little girl. Anything helps. Thank you.
In addition, a Facebook group has been created called "James/Irish Family Fundraiser." Click here to visit the page.