Conrad’s brave Julia and her progress

TRAGIC FIRE  —  A fire on Sunday evening gutted an apartment on the 400 block of Maryland and sent a 12-year-old-girl to a special burn unit in Salt Lake City. The fire began in the front apartment of a four-plex unit, apparently when a Christmas tree caught fire. The young girl called her mother, who in turn called 911. Fire Chief Kevin Moritz said the back three apartments were able to be saved, but the front unit was totaled out. He and the state fire marshal were beginning an investigation on Monday morning. A neighbor and deputy sheriff, Carl Suta administered CPR to the girl. No firemen were injured in fighting the fire. Two family dogs perished in the fire.  I-O Photo by Buck Traxler





Four days after Christmas when most people are settling down and getting ready for the New Year, a fire broke out in Conrad and 12 year-old Julia Winney was in trouble. 

Sirens blared and smoke billowed from the windows of the four-plex in which Winney, her mother Holly Gordon and step-dad Glynn Collier resided.

When Collier arrived, the door was blocked.  He knocked down the door and was able to pull Winney out of the fire, but she was not breathing. 

“Carl Suta, a neighbor and deputy sheriff in the Pondera County Sheriff’s Office, performed CPR on the girl and likely saved her life,” Fire Chief Kevin Moritz said.

Carl Suta’s son Dakota made sure other residents were evacuated.

The whole street came alive with concerned neighbors and community members assisting any way they could.

Wade Fuson, a neighbor to Winney said, “I also see what a wonderful community we live in. Carl Suta, Deanna Suta, and their son Dakota Suta, Gayla Hitt, the volunteer fireman and EMT and ER services, and law enforcement, have all reinforced the size of their hearts and unending capacity for compassion. Not enough can be said about any of the wonderful people who show up to help in a time of need.”

An account has been set up in Julia Winny’s name at the Stockman Bank in Conrad. 

Editor’s note: information contained in this article was contributed by concerned neighbors and friends of Julia Winney.