At around 6:20 this morning, May 29, the Missoula Fire Department dispatched three engine companies, a ladder company and the Battalion Chief to a structure fire at 1633 Idaho Street.

The fire appears to have started somewhere near the center of a single family, single level, modular home. Assistant Fire Chief with the Missoula Fire Department Jeff Brandt said the fire "extended throughout the structure and up into the rafters."

"There was quite a bit of damage to the structure," said Brandt. "we ran into several issues with the fire load inside of the house, as well as... well, there were just a lot of pets inside the home."

By Brandt's last count before leaving the scene, at least 17 different pets had died in the fire and were being taken Pruyn Veterinary Hospital.

"There were cats and dogs and snakes and chickens and other birds inside the structure," said Brandt. "One lady took a little smoke damage and she and another person were taken to the hospital for minor injuries. No one was hurt seriously"

Investigators are still trying to determine what started the fire in the first place. Damage to the structure is estimated at over $45,000.

Jeff Brandt