Missoula Crews Scramble to Combat Two Dangerous Fires at Once
Missoula Fire officials are reminding people to not store anything on top of stoves after a pair of simultaneous blazes yesterday stretched department resources thin and prompted calls for help from outside the city.
The two fires broke out within minutes of each other, on opposite sides of the Missoula.
Missoula Fire crews got the first call for a house that caught fire on Ernest Avenue, just off Brooks Street, right before 1 pm Thursday. MFD sent three engines, a ladder truck, a command truck, and two support vehicles to the scene, where they found moderate smoke coming from the front of the house, and flames in the kitchen.
Crews were able to get inside and quickly knock down the flames, keeping most of the fire damage contained to the kitchen and living room, with smoke damage through the remainder of the house. The resident was treated for minor smoke inhalation.
Less than 20 minutes later, the call came in for a second house fire in the Rattlesnake, with fire reported in the basement. Since crews were already tied up on the Ernest fire, and with other emergency calls around town, MFD was able to call for "mutual aid" with Missoula Rural Fire sending additional equipment to help the city's remaining engine company.
Missoula Police and Missoula Emergency Services also helped out with the calls.
A resident of the second home also had to be treated for inhaling smoke.
MFD is still checking into the cause of both fires. Firefighters are reminding people to not store anything on stovetops and to keep the surfaces free to be used only for cooking.