Fire engulfs home south of Hardin

Thursday, December 5, 2019
Fire engulfs home south of Hardin

Courtesy photo

A fire engulfed a house of Gary and Sharla Plenty Bufflao 11 miles south of Hardin on the Crow Indian Reservation Muonday. A spokeperson for the family said everything in the home was lost in the blaze. Crow Disaster and Emergency Services and the Hardin Volunteer Fire Department responded to the call about 9 a.m., but due to icy roads crews had to travel with extreme caution. Several donation drives have been organized to help the Plenty Buffalo family recover from the fire.

Fire engulfs home south of Hardin

Courtesy photo

Three-year-old Gary Plenty Buffalo III holds the family dog, “Little Brother” eariler this year. The dog was also lost in the blaze.

The Crow Nation Disaster and Emergency Services Department is still investigating the cause of a house fire that left an area family with nothing, said DESD Deputy Vernon Hill.

Sharla and Gary Plenty Buffalo Jr. were living in the home for three years.

“They lost everything,” Hill said. “Fortunately, he was at work and the wife was out visiting family.”

The Monday morning fire engulfed the entire home and even claimed the life of the family’s pet Chihuahua “Little Brother,” said Lila Mailboy, sister of Sharla Plenty Buffalo and family spokesperson.

“It was a total loss,” Mailboy said. “They lost everything from culturally significant items down to baby pictures that can’t be replaced.”

Mailboy added that the initial investigation points toward an electrical malfunction.

The family, she said, moved into the home and started working to fix repairs and improve it. The family was also saving to have a well dug.

“It was going to cost thousands of dollars to have the well dug, so they found a small tank and filled it weekly,” she said.

The family was able to procure another tank, which made their weekly water trips less frequent, but there were other repairs that the family worked on.

Mailboy said the couple has four children and another one due within the next two weeks.

The Crow Tribe Abandoned Mine Lands program where Buffalo works is accepting donations, as well as Tribal Family Preservation.

Mailboy is also coordinating a donation drive for the family and said they are in need of household items; clothes for a 12-year-old boy, youth extra large shirts and youth size 16 jeans; a 9-yearold boy, youth large shirts and youth size 12 pants; a 3-year old boy, size 5T; a 6-year-old girl, youth size 8; an adult man, size extra large shirts and size 43x36 pants; and an adult woman, size extra large shirts and size 32L pants. The family also lost all of the baby items they purchased.

For more information about needed items or clothing contact email Mailboy at or call 670-2257.