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By Andi Bourne
Pathfinder 

Volunteers Save Trailer, Contents Total Loss

 

November 2, 2017

Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder

Volunteers saved the trailer that caught fire just west of Clearwater Junction Oct. 24. While no one was injured, everything inside was heavily smoke and water damaged.

GREENOUGH – Just after 3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24 Greenough Potomac Volunteer Fire Department responded to a possible structure fire just west of Clearwater Junction. While volunteer firefighters saved the trailer located near the entrance of Camp Utmost, everything in it was lost either to smoke, heat or water damage.

Culligan Water employees traveling Highway 200 called in the fire.

"Luckily they realized that this wasn't just wood chimney smoke, that it was smoke coming out of the eves," said GPVFD Fire Chief Ryan Hall.

Units that arrived first found light smoke showing from the exterior of the house and heavy smoke from the interior.  Mutual aid for a water tender and manpower from Seeley Lake Rural Fire District was requested.

Hall said when trailers of this age and condition catch on fire, they typically burn to the ground in less than 45 minutes. He was surprised it was still standing and was skeptical that they could put it out.

Upon arrival of GPVFD's Fire Engine, firefighters were able to quickly knock the fire down from the exterior of the home within 30 minutes. They used less than 500 gallons of water.

"I think we hit it at the right time," said Hall. "We were very fortunate."

Hall said more than a dozen volunteers responded which is "awesome, for the middle of the day, middle of the week."

Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder

Volunteer firefighters from Greenough/Potomac and Seeley Lake responded to the trailer fire Tuesday afternoon.

 Crews continued with mop-up and extinguishing the fire from the interior once it was safe to do so. The home sustained heavy smoke, heat and water damage. Hall thought it had been burning for several hours because even rooms with the doors closed were heavily smoke damaged.

The cause is still is under investigation but it is assumed to be electrical. No one was home when the fire broke out. Both the cat and the 15-year-old dog survived. No foul play was suspected.

"I would like to thank the passersby for giving accurate information, for paying close attention and for realizing the difference between smoke coming out of a chimney and smoke coming out of the eves and roof the house," said Hall. Hall continued, "We really appreciate the good working relationship that we have with Seeley Lake Rural Fire District."

The man who was renting the trailer house is looking for a place to rent from Greenough to Missoula. Contact the Greenough/Potomac Fire Department 244-5796 (updated number) to help.

 

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