EAST HELENA – In the early hours of Tuesday, July 17 a fire destroyed a home on the 2500 block of Prickly Pear Ave in East Helena.
East Valley Volunteer Fire Chief Dave Sammons says the homeowner woke up around 3 a.m. to the smell of smoke and heard the sound of burning wood.
The homeowner immediately evacuated his family and dog and went down the street to call 911.
Sammons says the homeowner’s quick actions saved lives.
“He absolutely saved lives. He removed his family and his pet and didn’t go back in,” said Sammons, “he saved his family.”
Thirteen firefighters, two engines and two water tenders spent hours fighting the blaze.
The fire is believed to have begun in the garage and then spread to the house.
Three vehicles, the entire garage and the roof of the home were consumed by the fire. Sammons says the interior of the home is a complete loss.
A smoke detector was is the home but had been taken apart and was not functioning when the fire began.
“Smoke detectors save lives,” said Sammons, “They were very lucky.”
No one was injured by the fire and the Red Cross is currently taking care of the family until other arrangements can be made.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.