Missoula Rural Fire responded late Wednesday afternoon to a structure fire in Bonner-Milltown that heavily damaged two adjacent homes.

"The engine responding, as they were getting closer to the scene, reported heavy fire and smoke visible from where they were," said Assistant Fire Chief Brent Christofferson, "and when they got on scene, they said the rear of one of the homes was on fire, with other homes being threatened."

Christofferson said, "unfortunately, the fire spread to an adjacent home as more fire units were responding". "Other agencies responding," Christofferson added, "were East Missoula, Missoula city fire and Clinton." Residents of both homes were successfully evacuated.

Christofferson said "one firefighter was injured by cutting his hand, and he was treated on the scene."

Other agencies called to respond include the Red Cross to assist the displaced residents, Missoula County Sheriff's Department and the Montana Highway Patrol for traffic control, and rail traffic had to be suspended temporarily due to a power line that crossed the railroad tracks.

Christofferson said investigators are on the scene, and "no estimate of damage was available, though both homes were heavily damaged by the fire."

Assistant Rural Fire Chief Brent Christofferson