Montana Limestone helps neighbor after devastating house fire


Montana Limestone’s lone neighbor’s house was a total loss following a devastating fire on Jan. 30.

During the day, there are about three dozen people walking around the community of Warren, MT, but at night, there is a lone soul who lives there.

Warren is the home of Montana Limestone Company, a subsidiary of Dakota Coal Company. Montana Limestone is a limestone quarry that sells about 750,000 tons of chemical-grade limestone each year.

Montana Limestone Interim Superintendent Mike Jones says the community’s lone resident, Tami Holdsworth, is a good neighbor who calls him to report suspicious activity or anything out of the ordinary going on at the plant.

But after an unfortunate event during the early morning hours of Jan. 30, Montana Limestone has been able to repay the favor.

That morning around 2 a.m., there was one truck from Warren Transport hauling limestone. The driver noticed Holdsworth’s house was on fire. “He drove over to the house and started banging on the door trying to wake her up,” Jones says. “It took quite a while, but when she finally came to the door, she had no idea her house was on fire. The driver literally saved her life.”

Because Warren “is in the middle of nowhere,” according to Jones, it took 45 minutes for a fire truck to arrive from Bridger, MT. By that time the house was a total loss.

As soon as it was safely possible, one of Montana Limestone’s employees jumped into action, helping her get anything she could salvage out of the house, then Montana Limestone offered financial support. “We called Warren Transport and told them we were going to give a substantial donation, and asked if they’d match it. They did,” Jones says. “It ended up being a pretty healthy donation.”

But Montana Limestone didn’t stop there. Less than a month later when some of her friends organized a fundraiser, Montana Limestone donated 25 tons of rock to the silent auction, and Warren Transport donated the transport of the rock up to 50 miles.

While Holdsworth still isn’t sure what she is going to do with what remains of the house, she is confident she’ll stay in Warren, since the house is where her grandparents lived and is located on the land where they are buried. It also will allow her to remain near the neighbors who saved her life and are helping her overcome this tragedy.

“Tami has been a good neighbor to us,” Jones says. “It means a lot to us to help her get back on her feet.”

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