Lolo Garage Fire Sets Off Explosions From Stored Ammunition
Just before 1:00 a.m. on Monday, Labor Day, a Lolo household was awakened by explosions coming from their garage where a fire had set off stored ammunition.
Assistant Chief with Missoula Rural Fire, Paul Finlay, said his crews responded to Lolo just after 1:00 a.m.
"We received a dispatch for a structure fire at 5565 Monte Lane, which is off Farm Lane in Lolo," Finlay began. "Initial responding units reported an attached garage that was well involved in fire. There was ammunition going off inside the garage and the occupants of the home were outside. Those crews started aggressive interior attack and kept it from spreading to the house for the most part, and the valuables inside the house."
Finlay detailed the response to the fire by multiple agencies.
"Missoula Rural Fire responded with four engines, one ladder truck, two water trucks, a command unit and one support unit," he said. "We were assisted by the Missoula Fire Department, Florence Fire Department, Missoula Emergency Services with an ambulance, the Missoula County Sheriff's Office and Northwestern Energy to secure the utilities at the house."
Finlay said the garage fire did not spread to any areas that might spark a grass fire.
"It is an area where we're obviously concerned about grass fires from all sides at this point of the year," he said. "Luckily, this one was surrounded by green grass, and the nighttime temperatures helped us to keep this one in check."
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, and Finlay said neither the occupants nor any firefighters were injured. Damage to the structure was estimated at about $250,000, with the entire property valued at just over $500,000.