Helena nonprofits organize Iron Front recovery efforts

The owner of the Iron Front Hotel in downtown Helena said Thursday that the residential units on the historic building’s second and third floors would remain uninhabitable for at least six to nine months following the fire that broke out late Monday.

The nearly 30 tenants of the units, some of whom have been staying at temporary shelters set up by the local Red Cross and Helena First Church, now face the daunting task of finding new places to live in a town already supremely short on housing.

Fire scene tape marks off the Iron Front Hotel building on Last Chance Gulch Tuesday morning after a late-night fire in the building.

THOM BRIDGE, Independent Record

“The outlook isn’t very positive,” said United Way of the Lewis and Clark Area Executive Director Emily McVey, representing the Tri-County Community Organizations Active in Disasters (COAD) unit.

The owner of the building, BG Stumberg, said in an interview Thursday the damage from the electrical fire that started about 9:50 p.m. Monday was “extensive.”

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