Two Billings women become friends because of October 26 house fire

Two Billings women became friends because of an October 26 house fire.

Billings resident Ginger Avery was visiting family in Sheridan when she received a call that her home was on fire.

Billings Fire said, "A gas valve failed in a natural gas fire place in the home and ignited the wood paneling on the wall behind the fireplace."

Avery said her seven pets were inside at the time of the fire. None survived.

Avery said,  "I didn't know where to go, what to do. Saturday night, I spent in my car."

Avery didn't have a coat, gloves or a hat. She said her winter clothing was all inside the house.

She said, "Basically, I had the outfit I had on, and the pair of pants I drove down to my daughter's in on Friday night. That's all I had."

Meanwhile, Sue Picard learned about the fire from a relative who lived nearby. Picard didn't know who lived in the home, but felt compelled to help.

Picard said, "My car just started going that direction. I just drove by and I turned around. And, I saw the fireman sitting in his car and I told him to come over. And, he was like, 'Can I help you?' I said, 'Is there anything I can do? Are they okay?' "

Sunday morning, October 27, Avery got a knock on her car window.

Avery said, "I get this knock on my window. And, I open my door and she has this cup of coffee, a glass of orange juice and an Egg McMuffin. She says, "I don't know if you want it. I don't know if you like it, but you need something."

After getting Avery breakfast, Picard wanted to do more.

Picard said, "I was on my way to church and I said, 'You know what, I need to do more.' So, I googled and I said, 'Hey Google, what's the closest hotel? And, so I called the Country Inn and spoke to the front desk. And, said, .' 'This woman needs a place to stay. It's freezing. She slept in her car all night. What can you do?' And they said, 'Come right in and we'll give her a couple nights stay.'

Picard has helped collect donations for Avery to get a new start. Avery said so many people have been very generous.

Avery is still working out the details of a new place to live.  But, she has something to look forward to. Picard and Avery tell me they have a girls night out coming up. 

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