Just after midnight on Wednesday, Missoula Rural Fire Crews were called to a mobile home on fire near Buena Vista and Highway 10 West not far from the Missoula International Airport.

Battalion Chief Blaine Cowan provided these details.

“Initially, we were dispatched for a house on fire,” began Cowan. “The caller was stating that his son was still inside and at that time his age was unknown to us, so we were all on high alert at that point trying to expedite our response.”

Cowan said by the time they arrived they learned that all the people had been able to safely escape the burning mobile home.

“There was the possibility that pets might still be inside, so that was still an unknown,” he said. “When our first arriving engine got there the structure was about fully engulfed. It was a smaller, about 12 by 60 mobile home and there was one end of the mobile home that had an enormous amount of fire coming out and headed quickly to the other end.”

Cowan said the first indications were that the fire was started by a lit candle.

“It was reported that a young man living in the trailer had lit a candle before he went to bed,” he said. “That story seems pretty consistent with where we’re finding where the origin of the fire was, but due to the extent of the damage we’ll probably never be able to match that story 100 percent, but we’re going off unfounded, but most likely a candle.”

Cowen said some pets were lost in the early morning blaze.

“Four of the nine reported dogs that were living in there were taken outside, but unfortunately, at least four other dogs were deceased and one more was never found,” he said.

Cowan said there were 4 fire engines, one ladder truck, two ambulances and several Sheriff’s vehicles that responded to the fire with a total of 18 personnel. He said the mobile home was a total loss.