'Sounded like a bomb': Glendive woman barely escapes massive fire

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Posted at 4:29 PM, Feb 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-17 18:29:17-05

GLENDIVE — Sally Cox and her cat barely made it out of their Glendive apartment Sunday night after a fire destroyed the building.

“I heard screaming and a big bang. It sounded like a bomb,” Cox told MTN News Wednesday.

Cox was sitting on her couch Sunday night when that loud bang in the basement of the Ponderosa building suddenly gave way to flames.

“The smoke was really bad, all in my room, in my apartment,” Cox said.

She grabbed her cat, put on her shoes and rushed down the stairs.

“It was completely dark going down the stairs,” said Cox.

Moments later, the building was engulfed as she watched from outside with her neighbors. Two of them didn’t even have time to put on their shoes.

“There is nothing. There’s no apartment up there. It’s bad,” Cox said.

She’s now trying to cope with the trauma.

“I’m taking medication right now, you know, to calm me down. My doctor said I’m in survival mode,” said Cox.

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Sally Cox

Fortunately, she’s gotten a lot of support. Neighbor Jen Hawkinson, who works about 200 feet from the Ponderosa building, is helping raise money for fire victims.

“Monday we had to work from home because we didn’t have any power. From my understanding, all the power lines were melted in between the buildings,” Hawkinson said.

Hawkinson and other members of the community have made it their mission to support all of those who lost their homes. They’ve been soliciting donations on Facebook and collecting them at the local tractor supply.

The support doesn’t end there. Thrift and consignment store, The Attic, has been offering gift cards to those residents that have lost their homes.

“When we went to the Attic, they gave us a gift card for $100 for me and this girl, so that was really nice,” said Cox.

A community is rallying behind one another, focusing not on what they lost, but what was saved.

“We’re survivors. I keep thinking if I took my sleep med, I probably wouldn’t have made it out,” Cox said.

The Glendive Tractor Supply Co. at 2808 West Towne St. has been set up as a landing spot for donations. Other donations can be made by mail addressed to LIFTT at P.O. Box 1387, Glendive, MT, 59330. Make sure to note your donation is for fire relief.

If you would like to donate to Sally Cox, visit Fundraiser by Rain Larson : Help Sally start fresh after fire (

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