The residents of a burning two-story house near Bonner escaped safely Friday afternoon, although it appeared the home would be a total loss.
Firefighters coped with 100-degree heat as they battled 15-foot flames at the home near West Riverside Drive. A car also was on fire. The blaze reported mid-afternoon Friday sent thick black smoke into the air and kept Missoula Rural Fire District and other fire crews busy for hours.
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The owner of the house, an elderly woman, was being comforted by friends, neighbors and family nearby as smoke billowed out of the upper-story windows.
A firefighter on the scene said he couldn't comment on the cause of the fire and a MRFD spokesperson was not available.