Just before noon on Tuesday, Missoula Rural Fire crews were dispatched to a structure fire on Wornath Road where a woman was trapped inside by the flames.

Battalion Chief Blaine Cowan described what happened.

“We were initially dispatched to a structure fire where there was somebody trapped inside,” said Cowan. “It was reported that there was an elderly woman inside who was on oxygen and there was pretty heavy smoke and flames in the bedroom where she was believed to be.”
Cowan described the dramatic rescue.

“Our crews went to the point of entry which was most likely going to be the spot where they could get safely into the home without encountering a lot of fire,” he said. “They were fortunate enough to find that she had made her way just inside that doorway. She was on her hands and knees and they were able to grab her right away and bring her out of the home.”

Cowan said that the oxygen the woman used may have contributed to the cause of the fire.

“It is believed that is potentially the case,” he said. “There was also smoking in the home and those two just don’t mix. At this point in time it’s still under investigation, so we don’t know if that was exactly the cause. Being that it was a modular home on a foundation, there was definitely enough damage that the house would ever be habitable again, I can’t imagine.”

The elderly woman was transported to a hospital along with another person who had suffered smoke inhalation.

19 firefighters staffing 4 engines, 3 water tenders and 2 command vehicles responded to the blaze. MRFD received aid from Missoula Fire Department along with Missoula Emergency Services, Missoula County Deputies and Northwestern Energy.

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