Fire! Main Street is burning again.....
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Posted by Chad (+1759) 12 years ago
The building that most recently housed Burlap & Lace is on fire this morning. It's in the midst of being made into a "Smoking Club" and bar/casino according to the sign that was in the window this weekend. That's ironic, isn't it- Smoking Club?

Where's that Miles City Cam when you need it?

It's been smoking/burning for about an hour now. Miles City's finest are on site and tackling the challenge. We'll all have to wait and see what's left when the smoke clears. Too bad another historic building may be lost and we may end up with another gap on Main Street.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14884) 12 years ago
Is that the old Shore's building?
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Posted by Kacey (+3155) 12 years ago
8 North 7th....that would be behind the drug store on the corner of 7th.
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Posted by David Schott (+16723) 12 years ago
I think Burlap and Lace had moved from the 8 N 7th location. Chad, what building are you referring to?
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Posted by Sarah Peterson (+370) 12 years ago
Where Universal Athletics was...the roof of the Cellar is on fire now too. Smoke is THICK and it's really windy.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11610) 12 years ago
It was the State Theater in the 1930's and had a lovely proscenium arch until it was gutted last week. It was the Squire Shop for much of my youth. Next to Family Floral. They are all part of the same building. Going to be more than smoke smell damage this time.

Poor Steve, who has a terrible cold, was out in the nasty wind and smoke for an hour this morning taking photos. Weather is cold and WINDY today, which isn't helping.
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1280) 12 years ago
This is going to be a huge loss for the community again. Can someone go take some updated photos and post them so those that can not see for ourselves can get an on-going idea of what's happening?
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Posted by Janel Larson (+133) 12 years ago
I have photos but don't know how to post them!
Someone help and I will email them to you . My sister just took them.
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1280) 12 years ago
send them to me at [email protected]

or right click on the photo, copy and then paste into a posting
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Posted by Piney Helmuth (+8) 12 years ago
If you go to http://www.midrivers.com there is a link on the top to some pictures. They are early pictures.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14884) 12 years ago
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Posted by Chad (+1759) 12 years ago
I've been watching from the roof of the Masonic Temple, one block east and a story above the fire. Smoke and flames are still rolling out of the building profusely. I have some pictures, but the power has been out for a while and my battery backup is hitting its limit. Will posts some photos as soon as possible.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2739) 12 years ago
The photos at MidRivers are helpful but they do not convey the seriousness of the fire. There are no flames leaping out of the building like you sometimes see, but the amount of smoke that has been continuously pouring out of the windows and roof of the building indicate a very tough and extensive fire. I've never seen so much heavy smoke.

Kudos to our brave Miles City and Custer County firefighters, as well as everyone else who is trying to keep the fire from spreading. Mother Nature is not helping those brave souls one bit today, and I said a prayer for the dedicated firefighter who was clinging to the ladder 50 feet up as it rocked and swayed.
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Posted by David Schott (+16723) 12 years ago
That doesn't look good. Sigh. I hope the Arnold Building survives.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11610) 12 years ago
Can I post these clips to the Historic Preservation list?
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Posted by Chad (+1759) 12 years ago
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Posted by Chad (+1759) 12 years ago
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Posted by Matt Smith (+790) 12 years ago
I posted a picture here.


http://milestown.suddenla...1237821670
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1292) 12 years ago
Thanks, what a shame. No doubt a fire set my some terrorist
anti-smoking faction in Miles City. A smoking club to by-pass the new "No Smoking Law".............HOW DARE THEY!!!!
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Posted by Ryan (+485) 12 years ago
If only it would rain to help them out. No lightening..

Thanks Richard for sharing. Some of us are at work and have been listening to the radio.
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1292) 12 years ago
Dave, that look like it's on top the Arnold building or soon to be. What a big ass bummer.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11610) 12 years ago
It looks like the whole block may go. I feel sick.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9804) 12 years ago
Damn . . . that is just too bad. I hope it doesn't spread any further and I sure hope no one is injured fighting it.
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1292) 12 years ago
If the wind is blowing in MC like it is in Billings right now you have troubles for sure.
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Posted by Dan Mowry (+1433) 12 years ago
I was just on the phone with a fellow former-fighter who was caught in Main Street traffic - he was telling me he was watching it fully-involved - flames showing. Looks like these updated photos are exactly what he was watching, judging by the time-data.

This is terrible - that block is a fairly significant portion of Main Street's anchor businesses... between the damage (hopefully none to person) and history I agree this will be something MC's strained economy could do without. It's just a crying shame.
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Posted by Stan Wheeler (+1190) 12 years ago
Thank you for all the updates. Stan is there along with many other fire fighters. I am stuck at home with our little one, and can only watch the smoke. I appreciate updates on the progress. Not sure I like seeing the pics & knowing my husband is there though!
Liz
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14884) 12 years ago
Well, the original location of Western Pharmacy is pretty much gone... very sad.
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1280) 12 years ago
Amorette, wasn't the Cellar building the first brick building in MC?
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Posted by Ryan (+485) 12 years ago
Do you think they will call in Air Guard? Like the helicopter that helps fight fires in the summer to pour it on the building.
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Posted by Beth Oswald (+279) 12 years ago
With the wind blowing like it is, the businesses across the street are affected as well by pretty significant smoke.
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Posted by Sarah Stein (+53) 12 years ago
Oh my god! This is horrible for the business involved.
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Posted by David Schott (+16723) 12 years ago
According to the Billings Gazette they evacuated City Hall as well due to smoke and burning embers falling on the surrounding buildings.



http://www.flickr.com/pho...191157346/

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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6173) 12 years ago
Please, will someone give us expats an update on this?
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Posted by Gwen Gunther (+109) 12 years ago
They've announced on the radio that the Cellar, the new renovation, Family Floral, and Good Things have all been engulfed. Stockhills and Big Sky Pharmacy have been evacuated, both having tried to haul as much merchandise out as fast as possible. Stockman Bank & City Hall were evacuated some time ago, haven't heard about other surrounding businesses. Most don't have power. Forsyth Fire dept was called in too! This is horrible and heartbreaking for Miles City!
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Posted by Piney Helmuth (+8) 12 years ago
Terry Fire Dept and possibly Glendive are on there way
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1280) 12 years ago
There are good pics on the KATL website too. http://www.katlradio.com
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11610) 12 years ago
I am literally sick. I was in the Copper Thimble and Good Things Saturday with Cec shopping for her tenth birthday. Good Things was so beautifully restored a few year ago.

The Arnold Block has the last metal crestings on a Victorian building in Miles City and the Creme Beauty Shop, which has been there since 1927.

Yeah, Richard, the old Western Pharmacy stand is a goner. Looks like the current Big Sky, which has been a pharmacy since 1902, may go as well.

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Posted by Marcia Entzel (+8) 12 years ago
I am from Miles City, still have family there,and am saddened to see that Miles has yet another fire which is destroying so much of historic downtown. Let's just hope that this one causes no loss of life. A huge mental hug to all concerned.
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1292) 12 years ago
Amorette,

Any speculation on the cause of the fire? Where on the block did it start?
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Posted by aldeb (+6) 12 years ago
http://www.billingsgazett...0-fire.txt stated the fire began in a wall between Family Floral & Copper Thimble, then climbed up the wall to the attic & spread
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Posted by David Schott (+16723) 12 years ago
Quoting the Billings Gazette story:

http://billingsgazette.ne...0-fire.txt

Whalen said that the fire began in a wall between Family Floral and Copper Thimble, a fabric shop. It climbed up the wall to the attic and spread from there to both of those businesses and to a bar under construction in the old building.
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Posted by David Schott (+16723) 12 years ago
I'm hearing that the Cellar Casino is gutted at this point. A few photos that were sent to me in email are posted here:

http://www.flickr.com/pho...811844812/
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Posted by Josh Rath (+2313) 12 years ago
Did anyone lose their Internet and/or TV due to this? I'm on Sprandel Lane, and we have lost TV, and Internet completely. Thankfully I have a blackberry, Tethering for the win!
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Posted by Kacey (+3155) 12 years ago
Washington School lost all power a while ago. Kids are being dismissed.
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1292) 12 years ago
So sad.
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Posted by J Wilson (+163) 12 years ago
Thanks for all the information. This is just terrible!!! My thoughts are with everyone involved. Please be safe.
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Posted by Mary Jane (Hagen) Reiff (+20) 12 years ago
I too have family still in Miles City and got a call about an hour ago, so I got online and I'm almost ill looking at this. I just want to cry. I live in Wahpeton, ND which is about 40 miles south of Fargo, and we are in the midst of fighting yet another flood. I think we'll be ok, altho sandbagging is in full force here. Fargo river crest is expected to be 1 foot higher than that of flood of 1997. They are calling for 2 million sandbags..So amid all that, I hear that my beloved hometown is losing more history and businesses. My thoughts and prayers to all involved, especially the firefighters on the scene.
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1280) 12 years ago
Hey Chad, could you go back to that spot and take a few more? You seem to have the best vantagepoint!
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Posted by Dan Mowry (+1433) 12 years ago
Buddy who lives a bit off the 300 block near Main says his power is out.

Terrible, terrible.
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Posted by aldeb (+6) 12 years ago
Please, please, please
& thank you for all the updates & pictures. I can't tell, is this fire still contained in the one side of the originating block. My mom is elderly & lives above Ben Franklin, with no power she doesn't do stairs very well to get out if needed, this is so terrible, please God stop this wind!!!!!
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Posted by Dan Mowry (+1433) 12 years ago
Aldeb, you can call the MC dispatch and have them send someone to do a welfare check on your mom. Don't delay with the forums... call them directly with the info you just mentioned:

(406) 234-6273
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Posted by Debbie Grothmann (+5) 12 years ago
Thank you all for sharing this information. It is truly tragic. I'm in Maryland trying to keep updated on this horrible event.
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+9995) 12 years ago
Holy crap!!! I didn't take a look at the message forums today until now. This whole thing really sucks and is severely tragic. I hope everyone ends up okay.
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Posted by Beth Oswald (+279) 12 years ago
92.3 just reported that the Copper Thimble Building collapsed.
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Posted by Sarah Stein (+53) 12 years ago
I'm in Virginia but I loved going to the Copper Thimble when I came home to visit. So sad...
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Posted by califgal (+13) 12 years ago
would love to see your pictures, I was born and raised in m.c.
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Posted by Liz (Weimer) Putnam (+7) 12 years ago
Read this in the Gazette this morning, but didn't bother to check for updates since it was only one store at the time.

Just curious - hasn't the Copper Thimble burned down before? I'm thinking 20+ years ago.
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Posted by mule train (+1051) 12 years ago
It is going to be a weird scene at the BHS this year. Is Big Sky Pharmacy on fire as well?
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Posted by Mimi Meredith (+10) 12 years ago
This is heartbreaking. So basically, one whole block is gone. I'm bringing my Dad back home from Phoenix on Sunday. I can't begin to imagine what it will be like to drive down Main Street. Our prayers are with the business owners, fire fighters and everyone tied to the economy of downtown Miles City.
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Posted by Dana Jablinske (+92) 12 years ago
Thanks for the updates everyone.

YES the Copper Thimble suffered smoke and maybe some water damage in 1987 or 88?? I was working at Joylin's dress shop and the fire had broken out in Coast to Coast (now Ace) it spread to the MC Saddlery and then to Joylin's, Maurices and the Copper Thimble.
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Posted by M T Zook (+511) 12 years ago
Wow, just wow.
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Posted by Liz (Weimer) Putnam (+7) 12 years ago
I hadn't realized it ended up with smoke damage when Coast-to-Coast burned. I'm actually thinking even earlier then - I'm fairly certain it's burned (not just smoke and water damage) before.
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Posted by M T Zook (+511) 12 years ago
Has there been any official reports of injuries?
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Posted by cardiocasey (+13) 12 years ago
Well this makes me sick!!! All of these folks out of work. And the loss of these fine businesses in Miles City again it makes me sick.
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Posted by Vicky Strom (+123) 12 years ago
This is horrible for Miles City!! Keep the business owners and the employees in your thoughts and prayers.

Thanks to everyone who has posted pictures for those of us who don't live in MC anymore.
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Posted by rick hathaway (+5) 12 years ago
What a shame.......I worked in the the CELLAR from 88-90
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Posted by Karen L. Morris (+1568) 12 years ago
As I was heading down Main toward Haynes about 1:00, I saw a beautiful big red ladder truck that said Glendive Fire Department with lights flashing, moving rapidly toward downtown to help out. This is a true tragedy for all, but I am thankful we live in an area where everyone pitches in to help out. From all the reports that I've heard, the response to this tragedy has been phenomenal with so many people coming forward to do whatever they can. In that, we are very fortunate.
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Posted by Bob Netherton (+1889) 12 years ago
I'm hoping to visit Miles City soon. Thanks for the updates and photos everyone. Sad day.
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Posted by Piney Helmuth (+8) 12 years ago
According to the radio, `No fatalities have been reported'
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Posted by califgal (+13) 12 years ago
HI Mimmi,
I'm still L.A. this is so hard to grasp, Thanks to all who are sharing pictures. DS
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Posted by dcjdinmn (+303) 12 years ago
Strange how news like this makes a person want to vomit. So sad to hear.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4459) 12 years ago
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Posted by Jeri (Holter) Lester (+5) 12 years ago
I am following this from Great Falls. What a horrible shame this is. It's like a piece of our childhood is burning up. so many memories......
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4459) 12 years ago
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4459) 12 years ago
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Posted by Jen Lantis (+5) 12 years ago
This is so stomach turning to see this happening again!
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4459) 12 years ago
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Posted by MollieP (+132) 12 years ago
Rick, what an incredible video, thank you for posting.
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Posted by Dana Jablinske (+92) 12 years ago
It's such a shame... We see this stuff on the news every night and feel sad, but life goes on. It's totally different when it's your OWN TOWN.


I have tears in my eyes as I type this. To see so much devastation in these hard times (any time). To see the pictures makes my heart ache, but to watch some of the videos - WOW the emotions....
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Posted by Billie Goggin (+16) 12 years ago
Born and raised in Miles City--still have family and friends there and am heartbroken to see more of the town turn to ash...

Thank you to everyone providing information and pictures. Those of us living elsewhere are truly appreciative.

Our thoughts and prayers are with those fighting the fire and those suffering the loss!

God Speed!
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4459) 12 years ago
This'll be the last one I have time to post now. Might follow up with some more tonight.



Might have to wait a few minutes for youtube to catch up on the processing.
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Posted by Traci Glasscock (+22) 12 years ago
Good work Rick. That gives a much more accurate feel for what's going on. Every report I hear conflicts with another one. It makes one feel pretty helpless!
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Posted by JCF (+389) 12 years ago
from the looks of Rick's last video, there won't be anything to even salvage of the Cellar. totally destroyed, with just a shell of bricks waiting to topple over. too bad.
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Posted by Sarah Stein (+53) 12 years ago
Thanks for sharing Rick.
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Posted by Christine W. Keltner (+8) 12 years ago
An awful lot of my time has been spent in MC for one reason or another----------I can't believe how quickly we can loose something!! Thanks to all who are posting updates and photos for those of us who will only be able to see the ashes-------God Speed---Chris
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Posted by David Schott (+16723) 12 years ago
A different perspective on what used to be. The State Theater building was pretty big.



http://www.flickr.com/pho...3/sizes/m/
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6173) 12 years ago
Horrible.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14884) 12 years ago
Looks like it is time to "Seller" the Casino. Rick: thanks for sharing the video
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Posted by DeeWithee (+9) 12 years ago
My mom notified me of this one - I grew up there. She mentioned something about the boiler may have caused it. Being in the construction industry for the Fire Department here, buildings undergoing construction and remodel are at their most vulernable to fire. Miles City really needs to look hard at a sprinkler ordinance for their historic buildings to prevent such a tragedy from striking again. Think of the low income housing that has been lost, not to mention the businesses.
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Posted by Cheyenne Glade Wilson (+9) 12 years ago
Wow - this is truly devastating! One more blow that MC doesn't need. I grew up in Terry and most of my family is now in MC. I have lived there on and off over the past 18 years. I know the Berry's very well. So sad that Family Floral is gone along with the rest of the businesses on that block. I was planning on coming for a visit in the next month or so. It will sure be a sore sight to have to actually see it in person. I hope they get everything contained soon and that everyone is safe. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved.
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Posted by Liz (Weimer) Putnam (+7) 12 years ago
Gazette update at 2:05 pm: http://www.billingsgazett...0-fire.txt
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1280) 12 years ago
OK, so I know this will be a pain, but would someone please email me some recent photos? I am now at work and the government does not allow us to go to flickr, youtube, etc. So now I'm kinda in the dark. Just trying to get new updates.

[email protected]

Thanks so much to anyone who can help.

Cory
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Posted by DeeWithee (+9) 12 years ago
The copper thimble suffered in the McDonald's Fire in the early 80's where the veteran's park is now, futher West on Main.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3708) 12 years ago
Nice work Rick. Sign of the times when a guy with a digital camera and a youtube account scoops the pros. I sure hope no one is hurt and somehow we can come up with something to keep it from just being a big hole in downtown MC.
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Posted by Margaret Mathers Novak (+5) 12 years ago
I've sent this to all the Miles City connections in my address book. I'm sure we're all finding this a way to say goodbye to our mutual childhoods--again. In my minds eye, I can picture all the nooks and crannies of Shores that Eileen Shore and I haunted. Goodbye again to Russ and Peg. Strains of Petula Clark are echoing, as well.
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Posted by Dana Jablinske (+92) 12 years ago
I was just on KTVQ.com and there are videos / photos. They do have a crew on there way to MC. Between the fires and the plane crash in Butte - Montana is making the news - but not in a good way under these circumstances.
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Posted by jessiker (+287) 12 years ago
Living in Glendive, I'm proud my fire department was willing and able to get there to help out with this tragedy.

What is the status of the fire so far? What has burned? What is on fire now?

Thank you so much for all the pictures and videos.
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Posted by Amy Chezum (+5) 12 years ago
My thoughts and prayers go out to the business owners and employees. It's so hard to believe. It leaves me speachless and with a deap desire to come home
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Posted by DeeWithee (+9) 12 years ago
From the pictures posted so far - I think there is a firewall that may be the saving grace for Big Sky. Stockhills may also be saved, but I am much more skeptical of that. Fire Walls are only good if they haven't been compromised by plumbing, phone lines, heating, etc. Fire only needs a tiny hole to progress through.

My heart and prayers goes out to those affected today.
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Posted by Brian Perkins (+20) 12 years ago
Back in the old days they used to put a fire break between every two buildings or so, lets just pray. i found out about this fire early this morning, i currently live in Bismarck/Mandan and my grandma lives above the Pharmacy. I really hope they can stop this fire before that point.
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Posted by teeny wells (+7) 12 years ago
I was planning on visiting Miles during Memorial Day weekend. How sad and devastating for all of us who have lived there and grown up there. A lot of history that can never be restored.

Its good to see a lot of the names I remember on this blog. Its like all of the Miles Citians banding together.

Prayers to all of the business owners. Many of us are also and feel for what they must be going thru.
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Posted by Ryan (+485) 12 years ago
I am so sad for all of the businesses who have lost so much. I know Dennis and Rhonda who own the Cellar and it made me cry to see them standing there and watching their business they have worked so hard to build go down. I buy flowers at Family Floral because of the friendly service. I love going to Good Things to shop. God be with them all.

Thanks to all the fire fighters from here and surrounding towns who have tried to keep our historical building from going down. Miles City is a strong community when times are hard. They will rebuild and we will be there to shop to show our support.
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Posted by patarnold (+6) 12 years ago
I am so saddened by this devastating news. I very much appreciate the pictures and videos that are being posted. I have so many good memories of times spent at the businesses affected. Even though I have been gone from Miles City for almost seven years, I still enjoy going into the area businesses and being greeted by name. Prayers for all of the firefighters and volunteers helping with this disaster.
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Posted by MOlly Rohloff (+5) 12 years ago
My heart thoughts and prayers go out to everyone this tragic event affects in my home town!!Thank you so much for the updates. My God be with you all!!!
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Posted by Barbara Hoover (+49) 12 years ago
This will leave a BIG void in our town. I pray the business owners will be able to rebuild Main Street. This is just devasting. I appreciate all the pictures as I am out of Miles City.
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1292) 12 years ago
Thanks Rick.
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Posted by Tanna Bloxom Martin (+16) 12 years ago
First Bozeman then Whitehall and now this! My heart is just breaking. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone.
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Posted by Megan (+5) 12 years ago
If anyone is wondering the real story on how the HUGE fire started here it is....
Burlap and Lace was bought and was being changed into yet another bar. A welder was down in the basement by the boiler and the breaker. He didn't relize that sparks were going everywhere they didn't need to. they hit the ceiling first. the welder left not to know what he had done. The old owner was still carrying boxes out of the store. she went down to the basement and found to see the ceiling cathching on fire. she went to go get water to put it out. by the time she got back down the fire had spread a HUGE amount. She couldn't stop it. so she left and called 911 as any smart person would. Then things got out of control. the boiler broke which made things worse and the fire got to the breaker and all of the electic wires. then it was all down hill from there. it spread sooooo..... fast to the terrible weather we had today. when i was in math we heard the fire trucks, but we thought it was just another house on fire ( since this happens a lot) then i went back to my home room we started working on social studies. then my teacher asked what was that we all looked out the window to see that our main street was on fire. it was a terrible thing for all of us because most of us have memories at the places that burned. one of my classmates wasn't at school the first part of the morning because he was watching his grandma's and aunts store burn down. when he came back to school in the afternoon everyone asked him why he came back and his reponse was VERY heartbreaking. his reponse was that there was nothing he could to. because all he had down that morning was watch his memories burn to the ground and everything his family had done. his grandma was the owner of good things which will be missed along with burlap and lace, stockhills jewler, family floral, and the cellar casino and the memories that i had in them. ( hopefully the get them rebuilt so that i can make new memories in them but...... i will miss a part of my childhood as well.
Now a HUGE THANK YOU to all of the other cities who helped us in the HORRIBLE thing..
THANK YOU
GLENDIVE
TERRY
FORSYTH
AND ANY OTHERS I MISSED.
NOW I HAD HEARD THAT OTHERS WERE HERE BUT I DON'T KNOW IF THEY WERE TRUE. SO IF THEY WERE.......
THANK YOU
COLSTRIP
AND
BROADUS.
THANKS TO ALL OF THE VOLUNTEERS!!!!!
THIS IS WHY I LOVE THIS STATE BECUASE WHENEVER SOMEBODY IS GOING THROUGH SOMETHING BAD EVERYONE HELPS. ) THANKS SOOOOO SOOOOO SOOOOO SOOOOO SOOOOO SOOOOOO SOOOOO MUCH!!!!!
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Posted by Paul Jacobson (+5) 12 years ago
Margaret Novak got it right a few posts back. This fire marks a loss of part of the past for so many of us, including all of the Miles City "ex-pats". I pretty much grew up in Miles City, but haven't lived there since 1965. Nonetheless, I feel a strong connection, and my heart goes out to all of you Miles Citians. I have vivid memories of sitting at the Foster Drug soda counter in the 50's and having the unique "Muddy River," a concoction that only Foster Drug could make. May Main Street rise again!
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Posted by Dave Shore (+5) 12 years ago
Very sad news...Having grown up with Shore's as the family business, I want to convey my deepest sympathy and prayers to all.

SO many memories that will never be forgotten.

Miles City is a grand place to live & you will certainly rebound and build again. Having been gone for decades, Debbie [Blanks] & I still have nothing but love for the City & cherish the true friendships made while growing up there.
We will be watching this site for news and updates on how our beloved Hometown is doing. We will do what we can to give support in any way possible.

Dave & Debbie Shore
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Posted by brad kings (+24) 12 years ago
i think the building that burned by the 600 and hole in the wall.Was called copperfields if my memory is still working
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Posted by howdy (+4951) 12 years ago
Does anyone know if the fire is under control yet?? What is the latest status report?? Thanks.....
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Posted by David Schott (+16723) 12 years ago


"I did not know that welding created sparks. I will be more careful next time. Anyone need a 'welder'? My last job came to a sudden, unexpected end so now I am available." - Bozo the Welder
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Posted by DeeWithee (+9) 12 years ago
Welders unintentionally start a lot of fires. There are codes regulating the practices that need to be in place during welding operations like a fire extinguisher on hand, hot work permits and fire watches to be set up for up to an hour after the work is done, to help prevent disasters like this. We can only be thankful that so far no one has been hurt.
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Posted by KENT YOUNG (+1) 12 years ago
I remember coming home from the swimming pool and checking out the
temperature in front of fosters drug and jumping on the 1 cent scale
to see how much i weighed.
regards to all current and past miles citians.

Beaver Young
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Posted by Danielle K (+5) 12 years ago
I heard of the news through my Mom and Dad that live in Miles still.
They called with the news and we have been online since looking for news, images, or videos. We are due to go there next weekend to see our parents. We are so sad that this has happened to our community. We grew up there and the Cellar Casino was where I would eat very often.

I found a very nice panoramic view of downtown there before the fire for those who want to see as it was before this tragic fire. When you open the page, click on the little pic on page and it will take you to the street view.

http://maps.google.com/ma...1&ct=image

I am sorry for all the business owners and all the people in Miles City who still live there. Thank you to all the firemen, policemen, and other personnel who are helping in the efforts of putting out the fire.

Our prayers are with you all!

We will see you next week.
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Posted by Ronald Colbrese (+5) 12 years ago
Would appreciate the photos you have e-mailed to me.. Thank you...Ron
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Posted by Sherman Galla (+5) 12 years ago
Wow, is really very sad to see this happening to Miles City. So many memories of hanging out down there. I love my hometown, and to see this is heartbreaking.
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Posted by K. D. (+358) 12 years ago
I hope the welder story is not just a rumor. At a time like this, it is very easy to grasp any story thrown at us. I will just wait until it comes out in the paper after the investigation before I will believe it.

Thank you to all the volunteers and workers that helped to try to save Main Street.
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Posted by Patricia Dagenhart (+5) 12 years ago
Dave and I just want to tell you all our thoughts and prayers are with you, Miles City will always be home. The people will not call FEMA, they will rely on each other and God to get through this,and to rebuild their home. I am so grateful to the Lord that no one has been hurt. God bless Miles City
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1666) 12 years ago
Great job Ricky! Thank you.
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Posted by Cynthia A. (+192) 12 years ago
continued prayers for all the business owners, for the firefighters, and for our town. Thankfully small towns know how to support each other, and we will come through this. Praying peace for all of those who have lost there business, and prayers of thankfulness that there are no reports of lost lives. Thank you firefighters for doing your job and doing it well. You rock!
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Posted by Erica Gray (+30) 12 years ago
I happen to know everyone that was in the Burlap & Lace building when the fire started and I hope that people keep any accusations to themselves for the time being. Unless you were in the basement where the fire started, you have absolutely no way of knowing what happened. I talked to all of the guys who were in the building over the course of the day and it saddens me to think that people are already playing the blame game. It is an incredibly tragic event that has affected so many, but wait until all the facts come out before people start saying that they know "exactly" what happened. I just hope and pray that everyone will be able to get their businesses back up and running and that the city will be able to rebuild and soon. I was so impressed by the outpouring of support that we had here today...we have some truly wonderful firefighters and an amazing surrounding community who all came together to stop this fire from taking even more buildings than it already had.
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Posted by patarnold (+6) 12 years ago
Would very much appreciate a status report. Is the fire totally out or still burning? Are Stockhills and Big Sky Pharmacy out of danger?
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Posted by Staci Peterson (+69) 12 years ago
When I left my office at Wells Fargo around 3:00 most of the buildings that were Copper Thimble, Family Floral and the Cellar had caved in. Good things was still standing but black. I agree with KD this is a terrible thing and its best that the MC rumor mill not start. My husband was working in the building when the fire started. I do not know what started the fire just that everyone was evacuated safely from the buildings and offices. Probably the best and most accurate thing I heard today was "We will know what started the fire after the fire marshall has given his report" however the stories will be interesting in the mean time!
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Posted by Beth Ann (+5) 12 years ago
Copper Thimble originally began in the Miles-Howard Building and was a sub-leasee of MacDonalds Clothing Store. And yes, that building burned in 1985. It is now the Veterans' Park next door to the Hole-in-the Wall and Montana Bar.
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Posted by Bruce Boe (+5) 12 years ago
Hi, Dave.

I've been following this nasty turn of events in the old home town since my brother Jonathan alerted me to it late morning. It seems a lot of memories and some historic Miles City structures have been lost, not least of which was your family's business.

Given the magnitude of the losses, perhaps a coordinated effort can be made to rebuild that will put a fresh face on that block of Main. Over the years there were a LOT of different businesses in there.

I'll continue to monitor the blog as coverage/commentary has been very good.

I'll have to dredge through my collection of aerial photos of Main from back in our high school days and see if I have anything of that block...

Best to you and Deb.

Bruce
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1280) 12 years ago
Anyone on the street able to give an update? Did Stockhill's go or did it stop in the old Shore's building? How's the pharmacy holding up?
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Posted by Dick Smith (+5) 12 years ago
Have been following this tragic event all day. It makes me just sick but I am thankful for this forum and all the updates and videos. Like Mr. Cutt Jr., I am also wondering if the Big Sky and Stockhills were spared.
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Posted by Chris Gamrath (+381) 12 years ago
At this point, it's almost "cliche'" but having been born and raised in and around Miles City and still having many many family members there, I'm sure I speak for all of us when I extend all of our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to all the many people afftected by this local tragedy.

The toll and strain on many local friends, families, and businesses will be felt for many months and even years to come. The history of the buildings, the economy of the business, and the lives of many have now changed.

Here's hoping that anyone and everyone can look past the hear-say and the "blame game" and all the other insignificant little things sure to follow. Concentrate on helping those who need our help, and a town that's sure to need our help as well.

Be Strong
Believe
Remember
Rebuild
and most of all
Live on
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4459) 12 years ago
At 4:30 I could not see any flames. At that time they were still spraying the Good Things building. There was a lot of smoke. The Big Sky Pharmacy building and the Stockhill building were still intact. Both buildings looked smoke filled but were not burning. Tanneil Kuchynka
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3669) 12 years ago
Miles City at its finest during a time of tragedy. I was so pleased to see the people that showed up with boxes, bags and helping hearts and hands to help clean out Big Sky Pharmacy. It was ordered chaos but it worked and I am sure saved a ton. The trailer came, people loaded, people came with more boxes and more merchandise was saved. I don't know who they were, I doubt if they knew me but it was people helping people. I can only hope that the attitude I saw today will continue to see us through this tragedy.
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Posted by Dave Trimmer (+5) 12 years ago
We've been monitoring this all day, thank you to everyone for all the information. Tragic. Thankfully no one was hurt. Our thoughts and prayers are with Miles City and Miles Citians. Lori and Dave Trimmer
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Posted by cameron laird burton (+5) 12 years ago
Am visiting my daughters Stephanie and Cameron in California and heard about this fire from my mother in Miles City this morning. We've been following the updates all day and are devastated by this tragedy. As many before have said, even though they live elsewhere, my children's best memories are from Miles City and Montana - our prayers and thoughts are with the people at home today.

Sigrid Laird
Cameron Burton
Stephanie Pratt
and families
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9804) 12 years ago
Dang . . . Dang . . . Dang. This is just a crying shame. And while I know the community will weather this hit, it's still darned saddening to think of all that was lost today.
= = = = = =

Rick, thanks for posting the videos - and thanks to all who've posted photos and kept up to date on this.
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Posted by Barb Holcomb (+402) 12 years ago
Wow - Just saw this. I remember the building as the place where I ran up the stairs between what used to be Fashion Island and Anthony's (I think) to Scottish Dance lessons for 11 years in the 70-80s. There were a lot of office spaces up there. After some of our swords were stolen, I thought the place was haunted. I worked in the Squire Shop wrapping Christmas gifts during the holiday season. Lots of good memories . . . very sad to see such devastating loss.

Someone mentioned whether there was a fire in that building before. In the late 70's I remember them repairing the back of the building, on the back end of the now Cellar -I remember it as being from a fire - and they remodeled it to put in an Ice Cream shop and the radio station that CW Wilcox started.

Richard - does Grama know?
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Posted by trish (+6) 12 years ago
This is a true tragedy for miles city. I was born and raised in miles and still have many family members there. I have been told that some of the business owners had insurance on the buildings but not the merchandise. Has anyone thought about setting up a fund to help these business rebuild and to help those that are out of work? I know it seems early to think about this, but as i work with the homeless i know that this will devistate a lot of families and the sooner this could start happening for them the better.
is it true that someone robbed m&h during the middle of all of this? or is that just another vicious rumor?
I also want to remind the people of Miles City that although you are all looking for answers, please do not condemn anyone until the facts are all in and even then, accidents happen. If there is one person responsible for this, their guilt will eat at them enough. Just rally around them too. I know that Miles City is great at rallying around its citizens.
My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
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Posted by Just Me (+745) 12 years ago
I have friends that work in those businesses that burned. What are they going to do in the meantime. Will insurance companies from these businesses help with lost wages?

Does anybody know what services will be available for them?
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Posted by sunnygirl (+5) 12 years ago
Just heard on the news (from Schweitzer) that there will be some assistance for these people. Dont know much more than that.
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Posted by VictoriaLynn (+290) 12 years ago
Rick, great videos! Thanks for sharing.

For those that have posted photos, thanks also.

Megan, you typed up the "real story." It's probably a good thing you are a kid as one can be held liable for slander. NO ONE knows what started the fire at this point.

A million thanks to our dedicated fireman as well as those from counties all around. You rock!

BIG THANKS to our wonderful police force for controlling traffic, etc., allowing the firemen to do their job.

Great team work! The many volunteers that came out in the cold and wind to hand out coffee, etc., in the horrible smoke, you are all awesome.

This is a tragic time and while the fire may be put out soon, the "aftershocks" will be devastating for so many. We are a strong community - we will come through this - together. Vickie
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Posted by Rich McRae (+13) 12 years ago
Yes this is a major bummer....no fatalities hopefully.

Bozo the Welder - Loved that one! MAJOR kick out of seeing all the familiar names in the BLOGS!

And the YOU TUBEs are great! Where's Bobby Kinny?
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Posted by jessiker (+287) 12 years ago
Still wondering - is it completely out? How far did it spread? I'm getting a lot of conflicting stories from people there....
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Posted by Julie Hartman (+116) 12 years ago
Wow, what misfortune it is to have lost all the historic buildings on that block of main street. My heart goes out to those directly affected.
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Posted by spacekace (+892) 12 years ago
Rich...you can see Bobby Kenny running through the frame on one of Rick K's videos!!!!! No fire is going to go unwatched by Bobby!
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Posted by lgt (+64) 12 years ago
Spacekace, You beat me to it! Don't anyone worry, Bobby was there and fully armed with scanner in hand.
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Posted by David Schott (+16723) 12 years ago
I have friends that work in those businesses that burned. What are they going to do in the meantime. Will insurance companies from these businesses help with lost wages?

It's called "Unemployment Insurance" and it will cover a portion of lost wages.

If there is any truth to the story that negligence on the part of a construction company caused the fire then I hope the construction company has a rock solid multi-million dollar liability policy.

- Dave
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Posted by poisonspaghetti (+289) 12 years ago
Any photos from this evening?
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Posted by Patrick Petroff (+65) 12 years ago
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Posted by poisonspaghetti (+289) 12 years ago
Those are spectacular photos. Such a sad loss for Miles City.
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Posted by amanda (+8) 12 years ago
I live in Miles City but I am only 16 and I want to know how bad is it.
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Posted by poisonspaghetti (+289) 12 years ago
Bad bad.
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Posted by Ken Minow (+383) 12 years ago
Add my name to the list of folks thanking Rick for the videos.Much appreciated.
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Posted by amanda (+8) 12 years ago
what all buildings are burned down do u know?????
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Posted by Melanie Frame (+9) 12 years ago
Here is where you can view some pictures of the Miles City Fire.

http://melanieframephotog...8726_TzBp9

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Posted by califgal (+13) 12 years ago
Thanks Patrick for the pictures . I'm in L.A. and all the pictures you and the others are sharing mean a lot to the ones that are not home.D Stieg
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Posted by amanda (+8) 12 years ago
thank you i acctually live here can honestly say bhs is gonna be alot diff
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Posted by califgal (+13) 12 years ago
Thanks Rick
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1292) 12 years ago
Probably a lot to hope for Dave.
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Posted by snickers (+825) 12 years ago
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Posted by Stone (+1592) 12 years ago
Barb, highland dance still used the upstairs as a dance studio. All is lost inclucing some old costumes and kilts. Very sad day in MC.

Rick, thank you.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4459) 12 years ago
Here's one I took from inside the Lighthouse across the street, looking NW.

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Posted by Gwen Gunther (+109) 12 years ago
Has anyone heard if Stockhills and Big Sky Pharmacy have been spared? I was downtown in the late afternoon for an appointment and it was really traumatic to see this devastation in person.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14884) 12 years ago
"Richard - does Grama know?"

Yes, she does.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6022) 12 years ago
Thank you to everyone who posted photos and updates. Outstanding job to the emergency services personnel who continue to give everything they can to battle this fire.

Let's not point fingers at anyone at this point. Until the true cause of the fire can be adequately investigated, there's no reason to engage in potentially damaging conjecture and speculation.

My best hopes to everyone who is involved - those whose businesses and livelihoods have been affected and those who are doing what they can to save what they can.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4459) 12 years ago
No need to thank me. The technology makes it easy. It's people like Larry who deserve credit. This site is the real resource. Amazing how this stuff lets you be a part of the community no matter where you're at.



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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4459) 12 years ago
Gwen, from what it said in the Paper, Stockhills sounds iffy, but structurally I think Big Sky will be ok. I'm sure smoke damage is a different story. Although that might even be worse across the street.

The winds today were treacherous. I'm sure that's why this got out of hand so quickly.
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Posted by Melanie Frame (+9) 12 years ago
This is a little tribute print of one the hard work'n firemen and women! His face shows it all and I wish to thank you for your dedication.

The hard work was impressive and so was the concern of the crowd. As a "newbie" to Miles City it was amazing to feel the onlooking citizen's hometown pride as well as their deep regrets that were expressed about their historic buildings being engulfed in flames, the heartbreak of the business owners' losses. I also had the opportunity to hear some wonderful stories as people reminisced about happier times that were experienced in these places. This city is filled with some amazing people.

Please feel free to check out more photos at:

http://melanieframephotog...8726_TzBp9

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Posted by snickers (+825) 12 years ago
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Posted by Big Dave (+442) 12 years ago
Does anybody know if the fire is out? eek!
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6022) 12 years ago
No need to thank me. The technology makes it easy. It's people like Larry who deserve credit. This site is the real resource. Amazing how this stuff lets you be a part of the community no matter where you're at.

Seconded. Larry, thank you (once again!).

P.S.) - Rick, it's rare that I pay you compliments. Take them when they're given. That being said, thanks for the pictures, Rick.
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Posted by teeny wells (+32) 12 years ago
what a mess to clean up. the pictures have helped us who aren't there to see it all. thanks again for keeping all of us posted
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Posted by amanda (+8) 12 years ago
Is the fire still going, and did it burn anything else down???????
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11610) 12 years ago
Due to high winds, there is still smoldering, smoke and the fireman are still at it.

Big Sky suffered smoke and water damage but should be able to be cleaned up. Stockhills looks smokey but seems relatively (!?!) undamaged. The Shores building has lost some windows, has serious smoke and water damage and roof damage--the flag pole that was hit by lightning and started a fire many years ago--is leaning at a severe angle. The main floor was all beautifully restored just a few years ago, which makes it doubly tragic.

The Miles Block collapsed. All that's left are the iron columns in the front holding up some fragments of concrete block like a Roman ruin. The rest looks almost as bad as the explosion in Bozeman.

The front portion of the Arnold Block is gutted and will no doubt be demolished, which is especially sad, as it was the last intact Victorian era Bryron Vreeland building. The rear portion, which was built about 100 years ago, was not as well built as the front portion and was partially collapsed. The Creme Beauty Salon, which occupied the Arnold Block since 1929, is gone.

Historic buildings are most likely to be destroyed during remodeling. Not arson, not bad wiring, but good intentions do the most damage. Were the wind not so strong today, probably much more would have been saved but Nature was NOT on our side.


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Posted by Jody Collis (+212) 12 years ago
What a sad situation. Thank you though, to everyone who posted info, pics, and videos. It helps those of us who live far away to stay connected. We're praying for everyone affected.
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Posted by Linda Stallard Santoro (+18) 12 years ago
So sorry to see the devastation. My dad, Berl Stallard, had his first accounting office on the second floor of the Arnold Building in the '40s. I can remember going up to visit and looking down on Main Street.
So many memories in that block.
Linda
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2739) 12 years ago
It may be too soon to pinpoint a cause, but it's never too soon to applaud the fireworkers (full-time and volunteer), EMS crews on the scene and at the hospital, police and sheriff officers, Red Cross workers, volunteer emergency workers, and just plain good samaritans who were willing to pitch in and do whatever needed to be done. If I missed any groups, I apologize.

It was amazing to see everyone work together throughout the day. But the dedication of the firefighters was what was truly incredible. Facing down a fire is always dangerous work. Today's conditions made it even worse. Their work was nothing short of impressive. I don't know what motivates them to lay their lives on the line out there, but I salute each and every one of them.

It seems to me that the firefighters don't get enough credit in this town for the job they're willing to do 24/365 -- that is, until the moment they're called upon to do it. It would behoove all of us regular citizens to remember what they did today in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2739) 12 years ago
Oh - I did forget a dedicated group of individuals who went way beyond the call of duty today.

So, here's a BIG THANK YOU to Dan Killoy and the staff of the Miles City Star for covering the story throughout the day. I have no idea how you guys managed to get today's issue out on time, but you did - and it will surely become a keepsake for many and a chronicle of this sad event for all time.

Special thanks to Steve Allison, who rumor has it stayed on the job in the horrid weather despite having an hellacious cold. Get well soon, Pal.
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Posted by Frank Hardy (+1512) 12 years ago
Hang on Big Sky...

...I got my first job there right after it became Big Sky, from Foster Drug. I helped Brud Foster cart things down from the cluttered upstairs. Ron Lee and his partner Butch were new owners. The daily crew meeting at the Coffee Corner included John Stockhill, Monte, Kay Huckins, and many more.

Ron Lee bought out Butch Jorgensen who moved to Colorado and hired Stephanie and then John Filler, who moved to Miles City from North Dakota with his wife Patty.

I knew the basement catacombs like the back of my hand. The opening to Stockhills held in place by a simple hook, at least from our side. The tunnel under the sidewalk, the scary room at the very back of the big basement.

Working with Wanda Helm, Gladys Hamilton (always at the perfume counter) Candy Quigley, Karla Heinz...and so many more. In those days we closed down as did the rest of Main Street on Good Friday while Jesus was on the cross. We stayed open late during Christmas....hauled old junk from downstairs and tried to unload it during Crazy Days..

John Filler now is the owner and has done incredible things to the building. I was so happy that I got to see them while in town 3 years ago.

I so miss the Crossroads and the original Airport Inn. I sure hope that these two businesses survive the night.

FH
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Posted by trish (+6) 12 years ago
Just want to give a huge and heartfelt thank you to all of the emergency crews that have been at this blaze since it started.I know that its been said before....
Thank You
Miles City Fire and Rescue
Miles City Police and Sheriffs office
Miles City Volunteer Fire
Forsyth Fire and Rescue
Terry Fire and Rescue
Glendive Fire and Rescue
The Montana Highway Patrol
and
The National Guard

Thanks to all that have posted updates and photos,they mean a lot to us that aren't there.

Hope I didn't miss anyone, if I did thank you

It sounds like Gov. Shweitzer has set up some money in emergency assistance for the folks who lost their jobs and buildings,which is wonderful.
Good Luck Miles City in all the rebuilding to come.
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Posted by James Shaw (+143) 12 years ago
Unbelievable..

I can't believe the Cellar is gone. I remember it from when I was 5yo. This really does suck.

Hopefully I can make a trip to Miles soon and see what's left of downtown.

This has *GOT* to be one of the suckiest days I've had so far. The other one must be my entire childhood neighborhood being turned into a parking lot (Wisconsin Rapids, WI).

I hope they recover the existing blueprints and rebuild downtown according to them. It won't be "Original", but it'll be close enough.
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Posted by Mimi Meredith (+10) 12 years ago
The photos of the fire crews tell a great story of the resilience that is at the heart of those who call Southeastern Montana home. To all of those who have suffered through this day--the Mayberry family and all the shop owners; the firefighters and safety officials; the townspeople who wonder, "what next"...prayers stretch from around the world to lift you up and sustain you from all those who have called that Main Street their own.

I remember holding my mother's hand as I walked down what seemed like very steep steps to Marie's Gift Shop, long before a pizza parlor or Casino was ever housed there. It's amazing how quickly things change. Have hope. Look forward. This too shall pass.
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Posted by Deb Stockhill (+6) 12 years ago
I am grateful for all the photos and news of this tragic event. And it is comforting to see messages from old acquaintances. Sadly, my father, John Stockhill, passed away two years ago. The news of this horrific day would have broken his heart. He and my mother spent the majority of their lives in this fine city and missed it from the day they left it in their retirement. But my parents always believed in the heart and soul of Miles City and I believe the town will pick itself up and move forward stronger than before. I recall the night the Wibaux building burned. We thought it was the end of the world but eventually the Stockman Bank rose up in its place. I spent many years of my life in the Stockhill store and surrounding businesses. They were wonderful years surrounded by great people and I pray that the business owners will find the strength and courage to rebuild their lives and their town. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
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Posted by M G (+189) 12 years ago
I just drove around the area on my way home from work. Smoke is still rolling and water is still flowing. It's pretty dark but it looks to me like it's contained but still an active incident. I'm sure it will be well into tomorrow before it is called out.

My heart aches over this loss of livelihood, history, and architecture. It is truly staggering.
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Posted by TINA CARNLINE (+5) 12 years ago
Good luck to everyone. Thanks for all the photos it is so sad all of us who hav moved away over the years its still soo hard to see your home town burning like that. keep us all posted
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3741) 12 years ago
Not having read the whole thread was anybody hurt in this fire? If so are they ok?
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2739) 12 years ago
Kyle - I'm pretty sure everyone is OK. The fire started out slowly - at least compared to the blast that Bozeman suffered. And last I heard, all of the firefighters and other emergency workers made it through the battle OK as well. So, just property and memories were lost today. We're lucky in that sense, at least.
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Posted by Josh Rath (+2313) 12 years ago
Hey everyone. I'll be heading out that way on the way to school this morning, and I'll take a bunch of pictures for everyone. Also, If you would like, I can go downtown with my HD camcorder and take video of it, and stick it on youtube. The video thing is based on requests cause hd video is oh so fun to edit. But, for sure. When school gets out, I'll be heading home to upload the pictures to my Flickr account, and for anyone who needs them emailed to them, you can leave a comment, or email me directly @ [email protected] and I'll reply back to you with them.
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Posted by Jenny Mathers heuck (+5) 12 years ago
I am heartsick. There are so many shared memories...My first job was in Marie's Gift shop, and I too, remember highland dance lessons in the Miles block. I think Marge Lemire McLean donated the space so we could dance. I even remember child hood immunizations from Mary Faye Cotter in the clinic above Big Sky. The compassion of the citizens of Miles City and their ability to rally around those in need is what makes Miles City such a fine place to call home. I miss you all.
Jenny Mathers Heuck
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Posted by Billie Goggin (+16) 12 years ago
Miles City burning AGAIN--it is an unusual heritage--one that breaks my heart. I would like to see a list of all the businesses that have burned in the last 50 years. The Crossroads, Alta Club, Leon Park come immediately to mind--not just those on Main---such tragedy--let's work together to recover and rebuild!
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14884) 12 years ago
I looked at some of the picture in the Gazette today and all I can think of is the hard task and expense of cleaning up the mess. This sure give new meaning to the concept of a "block grant".
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Posted by Bobi Hollowell/Florida (+5) 12 years ago
I'm reading and watching from Texas, but my heart is there with all of you and it's breaking. Miles City was "Home" to me for the first 30 years of my life and I think it always will be. I am so sorry for all those to whom this loss is personal financially, but I know that as a community, the emotional loss is personal to everyone. Some things can be rebuilt but never really replaced. Maybe something good will come from this...that's what I'll be praying for.
God bless all of you!
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Posted by Cynthia Cherry Schif (+5) 12 years ago
We are trying to wrap our minds around this loss for Miles City as fire crews still pour streams of water on what remains. It weighs heavy on our hearts that our home town has been defaced in this manner. I was on the internet late into the night reading the latest reports, watching the video (Thank you, Rick K.) and taking a lot of deep breaths NO ONE WAS HURT...incredible...and incredibly sad. I had one of my first jobs in the agate shop behind The Cellar and worked for a number of years at Blue Caboose Travel, right next door on Main. I send my prayers, best wishes and love from the prairie outside of Chicago. See you all very soon!
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Posted by DeeWithee (+9) 12 years ago
As for the blame game, I don't think anyone is placing blame anywhere. I see a lot of speculation happening. The fact of the matter is, no one knows what caused the fire at this point. These old buildings have a number of hazards in them, just by their nature such as old electrical wiring methods to the way they were built in the old days; they were built to burn. Unfortunately, Miles City has seen it's share of this type of disaster.

Again, be thankful that no one has been hurt. Things can be replaced and business rebuilt - people cannot.
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Posted by Julie Hartman (+116) 12 years ago
What a staggering loss. So many memories there. My mom had an ice cream shop, The Big Dipper, around the corner right next to the alley...I'm not sure what business was there most recently. We had highland dance lessons for so many years there...I wonder if they were still using that space, I know in my last few years of dance we were practicing at the convent.

If anyone knows of any type of charity fund or some type of aid that can be donated to please let me know.
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Posted by Kacey (+3155) 12 years ago
The buildings are gone. But so many memories remain. The creaking door at Marie's gift shop followed by the little bell ringing. The smell of the gift shop. The cavelike feeling.

Eating at the Cellar with my girls when they would both be home. It became a tradition that I always enjoyed.

Spending hours going through music at the Melody Shop while Mr. Kappes played one instrument or another.

Buying my first "real" jewelry from Stockhills.

Shopping at Shores.

No one can take our memories. They unite us all.
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3741) 12 years ago
How many business were affected by the fire?
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Posted by Sandra (Nies) Homolka (+6) 12 years ago
I am originally from Ekalaka. It is so sad to see so much of history go up in flames. Like everyone says, they will always have memories of either these businesses or ones that were there before. Thank you to everyone for posting pictures and video. My prayers go out to the whole community as you start to deal with the loss that has hit. Also many thanks need to be given to ALL the people involved that prevented this from being worse than it already is.
Sandra (Nies) Homolka
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Posted by califgal (+13) 12 years ago
just had to share -- my Mom worked at Foster drug ,I too grew up in the underside of those blgs and new and the little secert places.
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Posted by Just Me (+745) 12 years ago
"It's called "Unemployment Insurance" and it will cover a portion of lost wages."

Dave - Thanks for that response. I was just wondering if there would be any further help. Isn't unemployment just a portion of wages. I guess I was just trying to put myself in their shoes.
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Posted by Kacey (+3155) 12 years ago
From the Billings Gazette:

Among the business casualties are the Cellar Casino; Family Floral; Copper Thimble, a fabric store; and Good Things, a novelty and housewares store. A beauty shop and insurance agency also were lost. A bar under construction was destroyed.

John Stockhill Jewelers and Big Sky Pharmacy were also in the line of fire. As much inventory as possible was removed from those two stores early in the day.

The business losses account for 40 to 50 jobs, Whalen said.
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Posted by Chad (+1759) 12 years ago
Here's a link to a video I took before the Cellar had become engulfed....

http://s213.photobucket.c...I_1439.flv
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11610) 12 years ago
Fire has always been, and will always be, a shaper of towns. We have survived bad ones before. Once the shock is over, we will survive this one.

Lost were the Creme Beauty Salon, which has been in the Arnold Block since 1929!, the Cellar Casino, Family Floral and the Copper Thimble. There was also an insurance office that only opened recently in the Arnold Block.

Good Things i.e. the Shores Building, damaged but probably repairable. Damaged but definitely repairable are Stockhills, Big Sky Pharmacy and the related businesses in that building, like the barber shop and the dentist.

The second floors of the buildings, which were once offices or apartments, were mostly empty, except for Big Sky, which has senior Housing Authority apartments.

Now, we take stock and start planning. And holding those memories close. Ah, what lovely buildings, gone by the whim of the wind. . .
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Posted by Chad (+1759) 12 years ago
Here's a short one from 8th & Main watching the Cellar go....

http://s213.photobucket.c...I_1455.flv
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Posted by Chad (+1759) 12 years ago
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Posted by Alicia Miller (+50) 12 years ago
I've been trying to follow every thing from Missoula. I got a few pictures, and videos yesterday. It was only a few blocks away from my Dad's house. I called him to make sure he know what was going on. It's so devastating to have your home town burn. Does anyone know how it started? I heard a few things, but would like more information. I'm coming home next week, and seeing the town I grew up in burned up is going to be quite a shock to me. Thank you to everyone who risked their lives. God Bless you all. =(
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Posted by Chad (+1759) 12 years ago
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Posted by David Schott (+16723) 12 years ago
How about some photos of what the scene looks like today?
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1666) 12 years ago
In speaking with the Mayberry's daughter from Glendive this morning, they had no time whatsoever to get anything out of the building, including computers/accounts receivable information. They do not have a backup source of information. For anyone out there, like me, who have charge accounts with Family Floral, please help them out by paying your bills. I am sure it will be most appreciated. If you do not have an account, please help by spreading the word. Thank you!!!

Not sure if any of the other businesses had charge accounts. If so, the same probably applies for them as well. So sad!
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Posted by Kelly (+2647) 12 years ago
I was just downtown to survey the damage. The East walls of the Arnold Mini-Mall are still standing, but the building is gutted. Going west, the buildings are burnt to the ground until you hit Stockhill jewelry. It is standing, but I'd imagine the heavy smoke and water damage will mean it must be condemned. The pharmacy is still standing and I imagine salvageable.
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Posted by Glenda (+15) 12 years ago
My husband use to manage Anthonys in the Silver Thimble building. His name is Monte Wolverton. It has been a long time since we have been to Miles City. We may have to make it for Bucking Horse to see the town. So sad to see the flames engulfing what I remember as "Down Town". You can't say that about hardly any town in Montana, all the good ole down town are gone. Hopefully Mile City will rebuild the Down Town. I loved going Christmas shopping and then stopping into the Log Cabin and have a few. Glenda Wolverton
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Posted by David Schott (+16723) 12 years ago
Kelly,

The Good Things/Shores building is gone? In Snickers photo posted at 7:02PM last night it was still there and I was hopeful it would remain.

- Dave
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Posted by GLM (+62) 12 years ago
I too remember the ice cream shop that was now occupied by Shawn Lockie.I think there was also a book store on the main floor too. I also remember shopping in Fashion Island where Family Floral was and in the Squire Shop for my dad. The saddness from this tragedy is overwhelming. As I walked by the area this morning there was an eerie quietness even though there were sounds in the air. I do believe though that as a community that cares the residents of Miles City will rally together to do what we can to help those in need.
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Posted by Jackie Brown (+11) 12 years ago
My prayers go out to all of you. Haven't been back to MC much since I left, but my daughters were born there and lived there until 2006. We had many memories at the Cellar, both with my children and from when I was a teenager. I graduated from Terry and remember our pep band meals after tournaments held at the Cellar.

It is so sad to look at the pictures and see what is no longer there.

Liz, Hope Stan is recovering form the exhaustion each and every one of these firefighters must feel.
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Posted by Vicky Strom (+123) 12 years ago
http://www.midrivers.com has a few pictures that were taken this morning. I am still in shock over the devastation! Unbelievable.
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Posted by Kelly (+2647) 12 years ago
Sorry...

Good Things building IS still standing.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11610) 12 years ago
The Shores building is standing but damaged. Roof burned and lots of water and smoke but it looks like it can be saved. Won't know until a structural engineer looks at it but fingers crossed.
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Posted by Sandra (Nies) Homolka (+6) 12 years ago
MidRivers photos show the devastation that remains very well. The ice adds an eerie effect. Just another obstical these firefighters had to contend with. God Bless all who will be affected by this.
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Posted by Tanneil Kuchynka (+31) 12 years ago


http://farm4.static.flick...b83a_b.jpg
Here is a shot from about 10am today.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6022) 12 years ago
Great (in quality, if not in effect) picture, Tanneil.

I prefer looking at the masthead of milescity.com, though.

Speaking of milescity.com, I want to thank Larry (once again) for providing this website. I can't imagine what this situation would have been like if ex-pats didn't have a way to stay updated and communicate with people in Miles City.

What a valuable resource this website is! When we all get sniping at each other, it'll be nice to remember what this site can be.
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Posted by Mike Etchemendy (+76) 12 years ago
We will be setting the pharmacy back up this afternoon. We dont know how long this will take. We should be able to take orders today but they dont want us to have customers down there till Wednesday. Emergency prescriptions can be delivered.

We thank everyone for your patience and understanding

Mike Etchemendy
Big Sky pharmacy

p.s. We want to thank everyone that helped out yesterday. Miles City is a great place live and do business.
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Posted by David Schott (+16723) 12 years ago
This thread is continued here:

Fire! Main Street is burning again..... PART II

http://www.milescity.com/...fpid=77623
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Posted by Vicky Strom (+123) 12 years ago
Hey Mike! Glad to see that the fire spared the pharmacy. I'm glad to see that you will be opening up soon. I wish all the best to you.

Vicky
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Posted by Christine W. Keltner (+8) 12 years ago
Ingham Hotel, Wilson Saddelery, Bank (?which one) =500 block
Met Cafe, Golden Spur lounge, Hotel-Miles Howard? =600 block
Leon Park---who remembers having to leave the car at the highway and jumping into the back of a pickup to get through the water?
Crossroads--a good place to meet and eat
Alta club---2 or 3 times? Best Pizza around through the window!!

I know I have missed some, these are a few of the more 'recent' fires. It still is ashock to know the familar has changed again---prayers to all----Chris

(thanks to all for the update photos!!)
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Posted by Tonya Murray (+5) 12 years ago
Hi Mike. Gosh how awful! I am so glad no one was hurt. Lots of wonderful memories in those buildings. I am so glad that the phamacy was spared. The people of Miles City are strong. They can pick up the pieces and rebuild. That block is the cornerstone of downtown. I pray it can be rebuilt. Sending my love to all. Would love to hear from you. Tonya
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Posted by jessiker (+287) 12 years ago
I think you're confusing the Alta with Airport Inn. Airport Inn has burned more than once, but the Alta only once that I know of.
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Posted by Christine W. Keltner (+8) 12 years ago
I remember the first Alta Club as being a large white wooden building, was in the 50's?
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Posted by MjB (+72) 12 years ago
Here is a shot from 30 minutes ago. It shows what is left of the Cellar as well as the building next door. There is still smoldering, with smoke and soot.


The next is looking toward Big Sky Pharmacy, John Stockhills, and Good Things...the vacant spot next is Copper Thimble Sorry for the hazy look, but it was taken through a window. You can see the trees frozen into strange shapes from all the water and freezing.


Lastly is directly across the street showing what was Family Floral and Burlap and Lace.
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Posted by G HARBAC (+5) 12 years ago
Not the official historian here, but old enough to be confounded by computers and GPS and at the same time seen some "Miles City" with memory attached in the 1950's. In my lifetime the Alta Club burned twice. The first one in my memory was a white building with a "Speakered" drive through restaurant similar to the Red Rock and A&W where soft ice cream and burgers came out the front. The "bar" was in back - maybe not then, but eventually.

Now living in Bozeman, and living through the explosion and fire two weeks ago that claimed a similar aged, sized and used piece of Main Street real estate here, am relieved to see people awaiting "official word" from professional investigators to place blame and cause. Also relieved so far to find news vectored towards human kindness and recovery, without the loss of life and without side-bar stories of people whose biggest concern were house-cats scared of the explosion while firefighters and people actually living in the building were trying to protect life and property.

One lesson from Bozeman fire so far is that 1/2 of Main Street is still filled with debris two weeks later as the legal jousting and insurance posturing prohibit even clearing the street until lawyers and fiduciary/underwriter examiners are happy. Then... something that is important, but not recognized with fires and cleanup not so long ago, is "Asbestos Remediation" and the accompanying contractor liabilities and disposal challenges that come with a threat we never knew existed in the "good old days".
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Posted by Christine W. Keltner (+8) 12 years ago
Thanks for the affermation---------I thought maybe I had 'dreamed' the old Alta!!
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Posted by snickers (+825) 12 years ago
Pics from today

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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6022) 12 years ago
Trippy. And not in a good way.

MC is starting to look more and more like Glendive.

(That having been said, I am nothing but thankful for the help that Glendive sent during the fire).
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Posted by Tanneil Kuchynka (+31) 12 years ago


http://farm4.static.flick...b059_b.jpg
This was taken this morning.
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