Missoula Rural Fire Crews were called out early Thursday morning to fight a fire that had already consumed a shop and was threatening other structures in the 7000 block of Highway 12 outside Lolo.

Fire Chief Chris Newman was on the scene and provided details of the blaze.

“It was a long driveway back to the shop, and the shop was relatively close to the home, about 50 to 60 feet away and there was another shop behind it, but the shop in question was fully involved in fire, along with a chicken coop that was behind it,” said Newman. “There was, I believe, a van parked right next to it that was also fully involved in fire.”

Newman said investigators were still at the scene by midday on Thursday, but no direct cause of the fire had yet been determined.

“They’re combing through what’s left of the shop, but unfortunately the shop was a total loss,” he said. “We still haven’t determined a cause of the fire.”

Newman described the response to the blaze.

“We ended up with 18 firefighters at the scene,” he said. “We had two fire engines on the scene and four water tenders. The water tenders were the key because there were no hydrants in the area, so we had to have the water tenders shuttle to guarantee that continuous water flow, so that was one of the key pieces to make sure that it wouldn’t spread to any other buildings.”

Newman said no firefighters or homeowners were injured in the fire.

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