Just after 10:00 a.m. on Friday, crews from Missoula Rural Fire and the Missoula City  Fire department responded to a vehicle fire on Raser Drive, which rapidly turned into an industrial fire response.

Acting Battalion Chief Damon Almond said when crews arrived they found two semi-tractor trucks ablaze, which were attached to fuel tank trailers.

"That initiated a much larger response," Almond said. "Fortunately, the two tank trailers were not full of fuel, so our main concentration was on the two trucks that were on fire. There were some explosions heard at the scene, but I think those were mostly tires or something like a saddle tank. When those tires explode, they tend to be really loud."

Initially, reports indicated that the vehicles on fire were inside the fuel storage facility, and that other vehicles, as well as the large storage tanks were threatened, so the incident was upgraded to an industrial fire.

Almond described the overall response to the blaze.

"We had about 18 personnel on scene," he said. "We also had four engines, a ladder truck, two chief's rigs, and luckily we didn't have to call Haz Mats, (the hazardous materials team)."

Almond said once the two semi truck fires were knocked down, they were able to ascertain that there was no danger that the actual fuel tanks might catch fire. The fire was declared officially out by about 11:00 a.m.

Both tractor tankers were a total loss with damage estimated at about $500,000, however, the quick response and aggressive attack saved over $1 million in nearby vehicles and other property. No injuries were reported, and an investigation is underway.

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