13 sober living residents displaced after Billings house fire
BILLINGS – Thirteen people were displaced in Billings after a house fire burned down their sober living home early Friday morning on the 2400 block of Green Terrace Drive.
The fire had taken off at Sober Beginnings by the time firefighters arrived after midnight to flames shooting out. The home was fully involved when they arrived, and city officials said the home next door received minor heat damage.
Neighbor Britton Collier said the sounds of the fire woke them up and they had to evacuate.
“It literally sounded like someone was trying to like, force themselves into the house. It was such a loud bang,” Collier said.
She said she, her roommate, and their dog Leonard watched the fire burn from across the street.
“It was definitely scary. We could see the sparks coming from the electricity and it obviously goes to the pole right in our backyard and that was…when we were leaving the lights were flickering. So it was one of those things like, is it going to take our house too? It was very scary,” she said.
Most of the house and garage is now nothing more than charred remains.
Some of the men who lived at the sober house were able to recover some undamaged belongings from the back of the house.
No one was injured, but recovery experts say this could be a setback for the residents.
Katy Petersen knows all about getting sober. She’s been through it herself, and now works with others in recovery.
“For somebody just coming out of jail, ya know, nice comfortable bed, brand new bedding, things nobody else has ever slept on before, can be a relief and comforting,” she said.
Petersen said residents could have lost personal items that can be difficult to obtain, like identification, and possessions they started to gather, like clothes.
“To lose it..oh my goodness. I couldn’t even imagine the feeling of that. People just getting on their feet and getting clothes and maybe a car,” Petersen said.
There is now a GoFundMe set up for cash donations. You can also drop men’s clothes, shoes, backpacks, and toiletries off at Groomingdales at the corner of 15th Street West and Central Avenue or at the SureStay Plus Hotel at 3040 King Ave. W.