June 3, 2012 in City

Fire destroys 1880s home in Medical Lake’s heart

By The Spokesman-Review
Tyler Tjomsland photoBuy this photo

Firefighters respond to a house fire Saturday near downtown Medical Lake.
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

Map of this story's location

Firefighters tried but failed to save a historic Medical Lake house from destruction in a raging fire Saturday afternoon.

Neighbors reported the fire on the 200 block of East Lake Street around 2:30 p.m., but by the time help arrived, flames had already engulfed the second story.

The homeowner, Michael Ludlam, lives in Billings and heard about the fire from his friends in Medical Lake.

“It looked like the top floor was gone,” he said, referring to photos he’d seen online. “I’m just trying to keep track of it from here.”

The house was built in the 1880s, and Bing Crosby may have stayed there, said Ludlam, who had planned to renovate the home and get it on the National Register of Historic Places.

“It was one of the original town structures,” he said. “I was trying to make it a historic bed and breakfast.”

Firefighters don’t know what caused the fire. Ludlam said vandals have targeted the house for months, but it is unclear whether that has any relation to the fire.

Ludlam received word that some witnesses heard an explosion in the house before the fire. All the utilities had been shut off since he has been out of town, Ludlam noted.

“I still had beds and all my appliances there,” he said. “I just had friends keeping an eye on it while I was gone, and now there’s nothing to come back to.”

Get stories like this in a free daily email

Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus