Missoula Apartment Fire Leaves Dozens Without Home - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Missoula Apartment Fire Leaves Dozens Without Home

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MISSOULA -

Residents of 41 apartments are without a home Thursday after a fire quickly spread through the Vantage Villa Complex.

"Smoke just filled the whole apartment," said one resident.

Crews responded to the blaze about 3 PM WEdnesday. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

Missoula Fire Chief, Jason Diehl said, "We had fire start on the second level, it then spread to third level and to the attic."

The complex is part of the Missoula Housing Authority's affordable housing program. MHA's Executive Director Lori Davidson got a call telling her the house was on fire about 4 o'clock Wednesday afternoon.

"My initial thought was oh jeez, I'm glad fire fighters are there, and I hope it's not too bad, but by 4:30 it was obvious it was fully engaged, and we had a big fire on our hands," Davidson said.

The fire comes just weeks after Davidson said a fire inspection was done on the building.

"It just illustrates how unpredictable fire is even when you're prepared. We're doing the best we can for the tenants," Davidson said.

A total of 41 units are in the building that caught fire, but firefighters said at least four apartments are heavily damaged.

"We're unsure of structural integrity, so the investigation may take some time, but we will secure the building until firefighters can get in there, and take a look around," Diehl said.

In the meantime, Davidson said all residents are being put up in hotels or staying with family. Red Cross was on the scene to help until residents left the area. The Missoula Housing Authority will go into the building Friday, and assess the damages to take it from there, but all residents will be provided with housing.

"It's everybody's worst nightmare and our primary concern was all our residents are safe."

The cause of the fire is still unknown. The investigation could take several days.

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