Historic Wise cabin just north of Polebridge damaged by fire

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Firefighters from Columbia Falls and Blankenship fight a cabin fire just north of Polebridge Friday evening.

An historic cabin just north of Polebridge was damaged by a fire late Friday afternoon, but did not appear to be a total loss.

The fire at the Charlie Wise cabin at the Square Peg Ranch apparently started in a chimney or wood stove in a cabin owned by Oliver Meister. Meister and friend as well as park ranger Regi Altop noticed the cabin on fire when they were outside of the cabin at the property.

Meister was apparently doing some renovations to the cabin, which dates back to 1918. Today, the cabin is used as a summer rental.

A host of people and agencies helped fight the fire. They were able to set up fire hose and a pump from a creek in the backyard. Park Service, Border Patrol, a FedEx truck driver all helped until firefighters from Blankenship and Columbia Falls arrived. Polebridge doesn’t have a formal fire department.

Firefighters cut a hole in the side of the structure so they could fight the fire in the attic. The cabin was well-made and in good shape prior to the fire.

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