Mike Quaintance, of Bailey, Colo., was passing through Missoula on Saturday when a van burst into flames just ahead of him on the Reserve Street Bridge.
After the fire was extinguished and he was able to continue moving north across the bridge, Quaintance drove to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, then looked at his photographs and realized he'd captured several highly charged scenes.
On Monday, he shared these photographs - via email - with the Missoulian.
"I have relatives in Lolo who will get a kick out of this," he wrote.
The fire caused a massive traffic snarl on Reserve and Russell streets at mid-afternoon Saturday. No one was injured, but the van was a complete loss.