MISSOULA, Mont. -

The following press release was sent out by the Missoula Fire Department.

The Missoula Fire Department was dispatched to a structure fire at Pacific Recycling, 2600 Latimer Street at approximately 7:14 p.m. Three engine companies, a truck company, Battalion Chief, Fire Investigator, City Police units and an ambulance responded.

On arrival, the first engine company found all occupants out of building and heavy black smoke which filled the commercial building. Crews had to force entry onto the property and into the commercial structure. Fire crews were able to make their way through the structure and found a forklift fully involved in fire. Crews knocked down the fire and were able to extinguish the fire before the propane tank, located on the back of the forklift, exploded. The commercial structure sustained heavy smoke damage and some heat damaged. Fire personnel and Pacific’s Manager Mason Mikkola worked to mitigate damage so that Pacific Recycling could open for business today.

Two major factors contributed to the successful extinguishment of this fire and minimal property damage. The two factors were the initial quick response by Missoula Police Department and the early detection system in place. MPD initially responded to an intrusion alarm and found smoke coming from the building and called for the fire department.

Station 5’s Engine Company moved up and one additional fire crew was called in from off duty to cover other calls in the city.

There were no injuries reported, and the fire is under investigation at this time. Initial damages are estimated to be over $50,000.