Salvation Army helps Billings residents displaced by Colonial Apartment fire

Feb 17, 2017 | by Aja Goare MTN News KTVQ

Billings - The Salvation Army is helping the dozens of residents displaced after a fire tore through the Colonial Apartments on the Billings south side on Tuesday.

The organization said Friday that it is partnering with the American Red Cross and Volunteers of America to provide shelter, meals, and hygiene kits to those impacted by the fire.

Billings Fire Marshall Trever Schilling said earlier that the fire was caused by an electrical failure of a lamp.

Though the flames were confined to one room on the second floor, more than 22 units were affected, according to a Salvation Army spokesperson.

Fire officials said that 10 to 15 residents were displaced.

“Given the timing, this is especially sad,” said Major Trish Simeroth of Billings Corps on Friday. “We are two days from Christmas and it’s heartbreaking to see families without a home. We will do whatever we can to help. ”

So far, five families have been placed in temporary shelters.

Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Funds have been allocated to provide temporary shelter to evacuees for up to a week.

Residents hope to have access to their units as soon as the Fire Department concludes its investigation and the building is found to be safe for residents.

The fire caused severe smoke and heat damage estimated at $100,000.

Schilling said it's unknown if the property is insured.

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