The Missoula City Fire department responded to a structure fire late Monday afternoon at 2307 Gilbert Avenue in the Rattlesnake area.  Assistant Chief Jeff Brandt described what fire crews found when they arrived.

“We arrived on scene initially with our battalion chief and some police officers and found fire coming from the sides and the front of the structure,” Brandt said. “They were able to mitigate some of that with a garden hose until fire crews arrived with more apparatus and they were able to extinguish the fire.”

Brandt said there was no one home at the time, but there were several pets in the residence.

“There were multiple pets throughout the home,” he said. “There were a few dogs, some lizards and lots of birds. We were unable to resuscitate two of the dogs. We tried, but there was too much smoke and heat inside the house. We did save the lizards and some birds.”

Brandt said crews were able to stop the fire from consuming the entire structure, with an estimated $95,000 in damage to the home, while saving over $200,000 in property. Also responding to the scene were the Missoula Police department and Missoula Emergency Services.

The Fire Department passed along this safety message:

Every year the Missoula City Fire Department responds to numerous structure fires. The misuse of extension cords or electrical power strips are very hazardous. When too much of a load is placed on improper electrical cords they will fail and may cause a fire and damage to your property.