GREAT FALLS- Ivan and Shavonne Redhorn and their four children lost all of their possessions in a house fire on January 10th.
“It’s worse than being evicted from a place because we have to start all over,” Shavonne said.
Ivan had just dropped their two oldest kids off at a youth program at Malmstrom Air Force Base and picked Shavonne up from work when they came home to a house full of smoke.
“The smoke filled the house from wall to wall,” Ivan said. “We couldn’t see anything, and we couldn’t breathe.”
Shavonne didn’t know her older children were not home and panicked.
“I tried to get inside because I thought, ‘The kids!'” Shavonne said.
They attempted to enter the house to find the fire and put it out.
“It was so large and out of our hands that we couldn’t do it on our own,” Ivan said.
Great Falls Fire Rescue responded to the home on 41st Street South near 4th Avenue around 4:30 p.m. and extinguished the fire in about 30 minutes.
According to GFFR, the fire was started by a lit candle that reached the drapes.
Although the fire was confined to the basement with some extension to the upper floor, the Redhorn family lost everything.
“The material stuff like big furniture will come,” Shavonne said. “But we need a roof over our heads before we can accept anything else.”
The family had just moved to Great Falls in August after living in Alaska.
“We have to recover from what was our old home to become hands-free again,” Ivan said.
Ivan served two tours in Iraq and Shavonne is a nurse at Benefis Health System. They are currently staying at Malmstrom.
For a complete list of clothing items needed or to donate, visit the family’s GoFundMe page.