Posted: Jun 14, 2013 5:38 PM by Dan Cimmino, Irina Cates - MTN News
Updated: Jun 14, 2013 5:38 PM
MISSOULA - A fire left dozens of people without a home and an apartment complex badly damaged in Missoula on Thursday, but fortunately nobody was hurt.
The Vantage Villa on East Broadway is owned by the Missoula Housing Authority; the apartment complex is designated for seniors and people with disabilities, and officials say that most of the 45 people living there lost everything in the fire.
Missoula Fire Department Chief Jason Diehl says at least five or six of the apartments were fire damaged, while most of the other units in the complex had some sort or fire, smoke, or water damage.
"We did call for a general alarm on this fire which basically means that it's an 'all call' for all of our firefighters," Missoula City Fire Chief Jason Diehl explained.
"Well it's everybody's worst nightmare to have a fire in an occupied building," observed Missoula Housing Authority director Lori Davidson.
"It appears the fire started on the second level and spread to the third level and then into the attic space where it really made a run," Diehl told us.
"I lost everything, 100%. Mine was the worst apartment; everything I have is what I have on right now. I had pictures of 50 years that I'm never going to get back," resident Judy Loudermilk said.
While the damage is hard to imagine, and the cost is being added up, the silver lining from the devastation comes in the form of those brave rescue workers who reduced and managed what could've been a true catastrophe.
"The emergency responders have done a fantastic job. The fire department was here as quickly as they could get here," Davidson said.
"They did a good job, those firemen, they did a wonderful job," Loudermilk added.
Authorities are still investigating to determine the cause of the fire.