Travelers to and from Flathead Lake saw a pillar of smoke rising not far from the Tamarack Brewery, but although a home was on fire, the situation wasn't as bad as many thought.

"I thought the Tamarack was on fire!" said one onlooker who was relieved to discover the blaze was just an old home without anyone inside.

Crews on the scene explained that the house was being burned down on purpose, to make way for a new parking lot.

"It's a lot cheaper than digging it up," said firefighter Jason Haze. "We've been practicing controlled burns on the house for the past week."

Aside from allowing firefighting crews some practice, many onlookers, including children, had gathered around to watch the house burn to the ground. All in all, the house was expected to take around eight hours to be completely destroyed.