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Fire destroys Kalispell home

by HILARY MATHESON
Daily Inter Lake | July 2, 2023 9:00 AM

A fire destroyed a two-story home on Second Street West in Kalispell on Saturday evening.

The Kalispell Fire Department headed to the scene around 7:17 p.m., July 1. Firefighters remained on the scene, extinguishing the blaze, until a second crew arrived around 7 a.m. Sunday to mop up and assess the situation, a job they performed throughout the day, according to Tim Gaston of the Kalispell Fire Department​.

Gaston was unable to confirm whether anyone was inside the house at the time of the fire or if injuries were reported. A call to city fire officials seeking that information was not returned by the Daily Inter Lake’s print deadline.

Crews used a defensive attack against the blaze, meaning firefighters weren’t sent inside the building due to extreme conditions. Conditions can include challenges such as heat intensity and structural damage/viability. In this fire, Gaston said the second and first floors collapsed into the building’s crawl space.

Working to put out the fire from the exterior, meant using equipment such as the truck ladder, which extends above the building, to spray water. One of the priorities of a defensive tactic is to prevent the fire from worsening or spreading to other structures.

“They tried to leave a few times and because of the conditions inside it creates a lot of void spaces,” he said, which is why firefighters remained on-site.

The two-story house was configured as a duplex on the first floor with an upstairs apartment.

“We have an idea of where it originated based on the area of greatest char on the back side of it,” Gaston said, although he said the origin and the source of the fire won’t be confirmed until an investigation is complete, which he anticipates occurring within the next day or two.

Evergreen Fire Rescue and Smith Valley Fire Department also responded to the blaze.

Reporter Hilary Matheson may be reached at 758-4431 or hmatheson@dailyinterlake.com.

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A blaze destroyed a multi-residential home on Second Street West in Kalispell Saturday night. Kalispell Fire Department firefighters continued to monitor the scene through Sunday, June 2. (Hilary Matheson/Daily Inter Lake)