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We want to express our deepest appreciation to the brave members of the Missoula Fire Department who saved our beloved Victorian house on South Fifth Street from a dangerous, fast-moving fire on the night of March 12.

Given the massive propane tank explosion that started the blaze and the fact that we have natural gas piped into our kitchen, we would have understood had you chosen to simply allow the structure to burn, rather than risk anyone’s life. Instead, we watched as you entered the house and used all the methods and equipment at your disposal to extinguish the flames.

Thanks to you, we still have a home that we can restore. We did that once before, so we have plenty of practice, and we look forward to the day we can move back in.

We also wish to take this opportunity to encourage our fellow Missoulians to support our public servants and services by voting in favor of future fire and police department bond issues. Hopefully, you will never need to see those tax dollars in action. But take it from us: should your house unexpectedly catch fire – and fires are always unexpected –  you will appreciate that those monies are well spent.

We are truly fortunate to have such a capable and dedicated fire department in our city.

With gratitude, Mark, Susan and Drew Estep, Missoula

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