Great Falls Fire Rescue Operating At Full Throttle Lately
From Saturday morning through Tuesday morning, Great Falls Fire Rescue has responded to an astounding 64 service requests, with three of those calls involving intense structural fires.
Fire at 3440 11th Ave S
The ordeal began at 1:15 a.m. on October 7th when GFFR's A platoon was dispatched to a 2nd alarm fire at 3440 11th Ave S.
Upon arrival, firefighters were greeted by a daunting sight – a 12-unit apartment complex engulfed in flames that spanned three floors.
Three teenage girls were trapped on a dangerous third-floor balcony.
Engine 3 crew facilitated the safe evacuation of these young individuals, utilizing a ground ladder.
Simultaneously, GFFR teams carried out the heroic rescue of an elderly resident from a first-floor hallway.
Tragically, the fire resulted in considerable damage to the apartment building, necessitating an exhausting and labor-intensive effort by the fire crews to regain control.
The root cause of this devastating fire was traced back to a dropped cigarette igniting portable oxygen tubing.
Fire at 820 25th St N
Later the same morning, at approximately 4:30 a.m., another blaze erupted at 820 25th St N.
This fire originated within a Ford pickup truck stored inside an auto repair shop.
Surveillance footage from the shop confirmed that the fire was initiated in the driver's side engine compartment, consuming the vehicle entirely.
Remarkably, the shop's airtight structure played a role in containing the fire's destructive potential by depriving it of oxygen.
Consequently, the fire self-extinguished due to the lack of oxygen, and minimal smoke escaped from the building.
The fire remained unnoticed until the shop's owner arrived at around 11:30 a.m. and observed smoke staining on the exterior.
Once GFFR arrived on the scene and the shop doors were opened, oxygen was reintroduced into the environment, leading to a brief resurgence of flames.
GFFR crews were already engrossed in battling the blaze at 3440 11th Ave S.
The shop did sustain heavy smoke and heat damage, and an ongoing investigation is underway to determine the precise cause of the incident.
RV Fire at 8th Ave S and 6th St S
The third incident unfolded this morning, around 1 a.m., at the intersection of 8th Ave S and 6th St S, where an RV became the center of a raging inferno.
Upon arrival, GFFR teams were met with a fully engulfed RV.
Fortunately, no occupants were present within the RV at the time, but regrettably, the vehicle itself was rendered a total loss.
The cause of this fire is currently undetermined and subject to ongoing investigation.
22 Cars Under a "Park Outside" Recall Due to Fire Risk
Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart
Great Falls & Cascade County October 2023 Most Wanted
Gallery Credit: Bejay Lindseth
Looking Back at Montana's Explosive Lolo Creek Fire
Gallery Credit: Dennis Bragg