NewsMontana and Regional News


Fire destroys Livingston home

Posted at 7:25 PM, May 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-08 21:25:07-04

A family in Livingston is now without a home after a fire destroys their house Monday morning.

The fire was so intense, neighbors say it was unlike anything they have ever seen before.

“I came out the door and around the corner and saw the whole skyline, so to speak. You know, it's just nothing but fire, fire leaping high, burning hot,” said neighbor Joe Copenhaver.

Copenhaver, a former firefighter, woke up in the early hours and watched and took pictures as his neighbor's home was completely engulfed in flames.

“I could smell it on me when I got home. And the clothes are in the wash,” said Copenhaver.

Park County Rural Fire District 1 Chief Dann Babcox was the first one on the scene just before 4 AM on Monday.

“It was all flame. I couldn't even tell it was a building,” said Babcox.

Park County Rural and Livingston Fire departments responded to the home on Pomajbo Lane. They were able to control the fire and keep it from spreading in the wind.

“We had it under control in about 45 minutes to an hour,” said Babcox.

Burnt trees revealed the clean-up effort in the afternoon which consisted of removing chard remains.

“The flames were leaping pretty good, they got into the trees involved heavily,” said Copenhaver.

Crews worked into the early afternoon putting out spot fires. Fire officials believe that the fire started after the homeowners had finished varnishing work.

“We think that staining self-combusted or spontaneously combusted. And then, of course, once it got into those lithium batteries, then we had some thermal runaway on the batteries, which creates a tremendous amount of heat,” said Babcox.

Babcox says even with the severity of the fire, they only had one person with injuries. They were released shortly after.

“There people in the home, two adults, two teenagers, one teenager, did suffer from some burns to his back,” said Babcox.

Copenhaver as a former firefighter says to always be prepared.

“It's scary and everybody needs to just do their own home safety,” said Copenhaver.

The family is being helped by the Red Cross. We will update this article if we learn of any fundraiser or events to help the family.


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