House fire blocks traffic, strands Missoula family


MISSOULA, Mont. - A house fire early Saturday morning left a young Missoula family without a home and shut down two blocks in the Rattlesnake District for several hours.

Crews said all they could see was smoke when they responded to the 120-year-old house on Dunbar Street around 7 a.m.

A young couple sleeping in the house said that same smoke woke them up. They said they didn't see the flames, but knew there was a fire, and grabbed their two children before racing outside.

"We could smell something funky, but we didn't know where the source of the smell was coming from," said the father, who asked that the family's names not be used.

"I went out on the front porch, and I looked up, and saw the smoke," said the mother. "So then I ran back in and found the car key and yelled to get the kids and get out now, because there's a fire."

Crews were able to locate the blaze on the second story, in an empty room and in the ceiling, but not before it caused $75,000 in damage.

Investigators said they are still determining the cause of the fire, but they think it may be electrical.

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