BONNER – Neighbors expressed their condolences to a Milltown family after a Friday morning house fire took the lives of several house pets.
In fact, it was thanks to one of those neighbors that 911 was called.
“I just got up like usual, was making my coffee and smelled smoke. It seemed a little suspicious,” said neighbor Kim Ramsey.
Ramsey looked out her kitchen window and realized it was coming from the neighboring home. She immediately called 911 and banged on her neighbor’s door, but nobody was home.
Authorities arrived at the Daytona Loop scene around 8:30 a.m. and began knocking down the flames, which appeared to be coming from the second floor.
When the fire seemed to suppress, flames would spark back up again.
Crews worked for several hours to extinguish the stubborn blaze, as they struggled to access fire in the attic.
Missoula Rural, East Missoula, Missoula Emergency Services and Missoula County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the incident.
Assistant Chief Paul Finlay says when crews arrive at any structure response, saving lives is their first priority.
“We break out glass and do a 360-degree to ensure that we know the location of any occupants that may exist by looking through windows and what have you, and then providing them with an opportunity to exit the building or to be rescued at that time,” he said.
According to the homeowner’s mother, two dogs, two cats, and a bird were found dead inside the Bonner residence.
Despite the loss of pets, the family of three was unharmed.
The fire remains under investigation.
Reporting by Kent Luetzen for MTN News