Month: March 2024

PRESS RELEASE – Wilkie Street Structure Fire

March 21, 2024


News release prepared by:

Battalion Chief Ron Lubke


At approximately 6:14 p.m. on March 21, 2024, The Missoula Rural Fire District (MRFD) and the Missoula Fire Department (MFD) were dispatched to 4756 Wilkie Street for a reported structure fire. The caller advised Missoula County 911 that the back porch and wall, of his mobile home, were on fire.


The first engine to arrive reported significant charring on the side of the home with light smoke showing and the occupants were evacuating the structure. Crews determined that the fire had burned the exterior of the home and a portion of the back porch. It appeared that the occupant had knocked down the fire with a portable fire extinguisher and a garden hose. The single wide mobile home was filled with smoke. While investigating the burned area, an active fire was discovered still burning underneath the home. Crews were able to quickly extinguish the remaining fire under the structure. Overhaul was performed under the home and in the burned exterior area, while additional crews ventilated the structure to remove the smoke.


MRFD responded to the incident with two engines, one ladder truck, one water tender and a command unit. MFD responded with one engine. A total of 15 fire fighters responded to the scene. There were no injuries to fire fighters, however the homeowner was evaluated by EMS personnel at the scene for exposure to smoke. MRFD received additional assistance at the scene from Missoula Emergency Services Ambulance, Missoula County Sherriff deputies and Northwestern Energy. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but it appears to be accidental in nature. Damage is estimated between $5000.00 and $10,000.00, with an estimated  $100,000.00 of property saved.


The homeowner was napping at the time of the fire and was awakened by smoke detectors in the home. Had it not been for the properly installed and functioning smoke detectors this incident would likely have had a significantly worse outcome. MRFD would like to encourage everyone to have working smoke detectors in their homes. Detectors should be placed on every level of the home, in all bedrooms and outside all sleeping areas.



For additional information on this incident or fire safety please contact MRFD at 406-549-6172.


PRESS RELEASE – River Bend Drive

March 14, 2024


News release prepared by:

Battalion Chief Michael Bowman


At approximately 6:09 pm on March 14, 2024, The Missoula Rural Fire District (MRFD) was dispatched to River Bend Drive in the Bonner area for a reported structure fire with active fire on the roof of a residence.


The first arriving engine reported a small two-story residential structure with active burning on the roof. The fire was burning around a wood stove chimney pipe. Within ten minutes of arrival, the initial engine company knocked the fire out. All occupants of the residence had evacuated prior to MRFD units arriving. Crews remained on the scene for a couple of hours making sure the fire had been completely extinguished and not spread into the walls and attic spaces.


MRFD responded with two engines, one ladder truck, three water tenders, one command unit and one support unit. MRFD was assisted at the scene by an engine from East Missoula Fire. Some assistance at the scene was also provided by Missoula County Sheriff’s Office and Missoula Emergency Services Inc, (MESI). A total of nineteen firefighters arrived at the scene. No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.


The fire originated adjacent to a chimney pipe, but the exact cause is not determined at this time. The fire is being investigated by fire investigators on the scene. Most of the fire damage was on the exterior of the residence, but there was some fire and smoke damage inside of the home. Damage is estimated at $25,000.00 with $175,000.00 in property saved.


While this fire was detected by people outside of the residence, MRFD encourages all homeowners to utilize and install smoke detectors. MRFD also advises people to change batteries in their detectors at least twice per year.




For additional information on this incident or fire safety, please contact MRFD at 406-549-6172.


Change Your Clocks, Change Your Smoke Alarm Batteries

News release prepared by:
Battalion Chief Greg Orr


On Sunday, March 10th, 2024, the annual spring ritual of “spring forward” will take place. The Missoula Rural Fire District (MRFD) would like to remind everyone that changing your clocks is also time for another spring ritual: changing the batteries in your smoke alarms.

Did you know that the death rate per 100 reported home fires was more than twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms compared to the rate in homes with working smoke alarms (1.18 deaths vs. 0.53 deaths per 100 fires)? In fires where the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, almost half (46%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries. Dead batteries caused one-quarter (24%) of the smoke alarm failures. (Source: National Fire Protection Administration)

At a minimum, standard smoke alarm batteries should be changed at least once a year and preferably twice a year. The fall and springtime changes are great reminders for folks to change their smoke alarm batteries. Here are a few other tips to ensure that your smoke alarm is functioning properly:

  • Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the house, including the basement.
  • Install working smoke alarms in every bedroom and outside each sleeping area.
  • Consider interconnecting your smoke alarms so that if one activates, they all activate. This can be done with hard wiring or through wireless technology.
  • Today’s smoke alarms are more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions yet mitigate false alarms.
  • Smoke rises, so make sure your smoke alarms are installed on the ceiling or high up on a wall.
  • Ensure that everyone in your household knows what the smoke alarms sound like when activated and that they know two ways out of every room.
  • If your smoke alarm is ten years old or older, replace it.


Smoke alarms are a relatively inexpensive way to ensure that your family is protected in case of fire, and they can be purchased at any department or hardware store. If you need smoke alarms and cannot afford them, MRFD has a limited number available at no charge. For additional information or for media inquiries, please contact MRFD Station #1 at 406-549-6172.



PSA change your batteries 2024