A Total Loss at Hawk Estates Apartments Building #2

By Shelbe Bearstail

The fire was said to have started early on Easter morning, April 4th 2021 at around 5:30 am. Tenants were woken up by the buildings fire alarm and had to immediately evacuate. It all happened so fast that some tenants were not able to get their pets out safely. Thankfully everyone made it out and there were no human casualties. There were 36 apartments in the building and those families are now displaced. 

The community took action and donated clothing, household items and hygiene products for those who lost everything in the fire. There were so many donations left over that, there is now a gymnasium filled rummage sale going on at the Northern Lights and 100% of proceeds will go to the families of Hawk Estates building #2. Community Strong!

I went to go meet Kyle Craig and his little family at the 4 Bears Casino Hotel where they will now be temporarily staying until further notice. After bringing up the fire, his five-year-old daughter said “home fire,” and earlier she had told her mom after seeing what the fire had done to their home “home gone.” Children don’t know the extent to what happened and all the personal items that were lost etc. But that much, they do know. 


SB: How has this fire affected your family?

KC: We lost everything. I was getting off of work, she called me at 6:30 am crying and I didn’t know the number she was calling me from. I work for Four Bears segment security and just got back to the Johnny Bird building. She said the apartments are on fire, I told my work I had to go because my building was on fire and I hit the gas and sped home. Sure enough, just coming up the hill by Sahnish I could see the smoke from the fire and gunned it even more. I could see that the fire was going from corner to corner in the building. I seen my kids standing in the parking lot and the first thing I did was hug them and hugged Trina. I had so many questions, like did you get the cats? Did you get any pictures? Then I noticed that the wind picked up and shifted. It seemed kind of eery like it makes me wonder if the fire was just an accident or if there was bad medicine put on someone that lived in the building.  I am just glad that my family made it out okay, that everyone made it out safe. I still have so many questions, like how come the sprinklers that were installed in the building didn’t go off? Material things like clothes and furniture can be replaced but the personal, sentimental items can’t be. My kids crib cards with their footprints, their ultrasound pictures, family pictures, beaded items my kids have gotten as gifts, my kids grandmother’s items, my military items, brand new kid’s clothes and toys that we had just got them. Birth Certificates, car titles, social security cards and stuff like that are also all replaceable. It will just be a process. This is all we have left in this room. Everything is gone. I am just trying to stay strong for my family, I am in recovery and over 14 months sober from alcohol. I won’t let this get me down. It just seems like one thing after another, my girlfriend Latrina Walksnice has had medical problems and just had a major surgery back in November. All of her medical supplies were lost in the fire. My son had appendicitis and had to have surgery. I am trying to think positive, it’s tough though. Me and my family will get through this together.

Post construction – before fire

SB: Has this happening offset any plans or goals you guys had?

KC: Yeah, it has, we were planning on asking a family member if they could take the kids for a few days or a week so that we could take a trip somewhere nice and get out of here for a little bit and we were planning a family vacation. But not anymore, we have other things to think about now. I have faith that the North Segment Management company will figure something out for all of us. We are just waiting to hear what the plan is and where we go from here. I am on the list for housing and hopefully I can be moved up the list because we are now homeless. 

You never know when something like this can happen, it can happen to anyone. It is good to have an emergency plan in place. Carry fire extinguishers in your home, have an evacuation plan, look into getting home owners insurance if you own your home and renter’s insurance if you are renting. 

KMHA and MHA Times has created a Facebook fundraiser to benefit victims of the Hawk Estates fire. 100% of the money donated will go directly to the families.

Thank you to all the first responders and people involved in putting out the fire and making sure that everyone was safe.

KMHA Radio 91.3 FM and MHA Times Newspaper now have donation buttons linked right on their website pages at kmharadio.org and mhatimes.press to make donation even easier!  Ft. Berthold Communications will be sponsoring fundraising events and accepting donations throughout the month of April, so tune in and listen for opportunities or subscribe to the newspaper. ALL proceeds will go directly to victims of this terrible event.