Missoula grandmother, 2 grandchildren escape Howell Street house fire

Alerted by a fire alarm, a Missoula grandmother got herself and two grandchildren out of a burning home on Howell Street Sunday afternoon.

She made the 911 call at 1:42 p.m.

Missoula firefighters arrived at 1337 Howell St. shortly thereafter and quickly extinguished the fire in an upstairs bedroom.

No one was injured, and damage was estimated at $30,000.

The investigation into the fire’s cause is ongoing, according to battalion chief Kip Knapstad.

Missoula Fire sent three engines and a ladder truck to the scene, along with responders from Missoula Emergency Services Ambulance and NorthWestern Energy.

In his report, Knapstad said the grandmother was watching her grandchildren when she heard the alarm on the upstairs smoke detector.

She investigated and found smoke and fire in the room, and quickly exited the home with her grandchildren.

Light smoke was showing on the second floor when the first engine arrived. Firefighters quickly entered the house, while a second engine company deployed another hose line, Knapstad said.

The third engine company searched the house for any possible victims, while a truck company provided ladders so the firefighters could safely exit the upstairs.

Knapstad emphasized that the family had recently replaced the batteries in their smoke detector; that should be the yearly practice at all homes.

In distributing information on the event to Missoula media, Fire Chief Jeff Brandt praised his crews, saying “our first responders did an outstanding job today.”

Anyone with information regarding Sunday’s fire should call the Missoula Fire Prevention Bureau at 552-6210.