At around 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, Missoula Police Department Officers and the Missoula Fire Department were dispatched to a structure fire on the north end of the Scott Street Bridge. An officer noticed the building at 1301 Scott Street was partially engulfed along with an additional outbuilding. MPD Detective Lieutenant Eddie McLean explains.

“Officers arrived and saw a large tree, a structure, two storage sheds, and a vehicle all on fire,” McLean said. “While the Missoula Fire Department was putting the fire out, dispatch advised officers that a female had called and claimed responsibility for setting the fire.”

According to court documents, a female called and stated she had burned down the “Bad Goat”. She also said she would not answer questions and hung up.

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“The phone number that 911 received that call from had association with Georgena Oldperson,” McLean said. “Law enforcement officers have dealt with Oldperson in the past. One of the responding officers recognized her walking southbound on Scott Street Bridge while responding to the fire.”

An officer said that he had interacted with Oldperson earlier in the day at the Ole’s gas station on Orange Street and she had demanded several times to be taken to jail, despite officers having no reason to take her to jail.

“Another officer ended up stopping her on the south side of the bridge,” McLean said. “She smelled like smoke. That officer also called the same number that was called to 911 claiming responsibility. Oldperson had two phones on her and sure enough, one of them rang. She was arrested for felony arson right on the spot.”

The owner of the 1301 Scott Street building told an officer during an interview that the building will be a total loss. A GMC Sierra and two sheds also caught on fire. Another officer spoke with the owner of the vehicle and the business, who estimated the damages to be around $500,000.

According to Missoula City Fire Chief Gordy Hughes, the property saved totaled about $400,000. However, he said the fire could have been put out faster if the fire hydrants in the area were not completely covered in heavy snow.

“With the snow that we have had and the accumulation around our fire hydrants, it was a little tricky for our guys to establish the water supply,” Hughes said. “I'd ask people if they've got a hydrant in front of their homes, if they could just shovel them out and clear those hydrants out it would assist us immensely.”

"The fire that occurred at 1301 Scott St. Missoula, MT 59802 on the evening of January 8th, 2022 primarily impacted businesses, and entities separate from Bad Goat Forest Products," said Bad Goat Forest Products Owner Kyle "Lindy" Lind.  Fortunately for me, Bad Goat escaped the worst of this fire.  Unfortunately, several other businesses and individuals did experience heavy losses."

The information in this story was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable.

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