Historical MFD Fires

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Montana West Lumber Yard Fire, 2003

At around 10:00 am on November 22nd, 2003, a fire at the Montana West Lumber Yard ripped through the facility and was believed to do over $500,000.00 in damage. 

Response partnership with Missoula City and Rural fire departments took crews the better part of the day to extinguish. They had concerns about spread of thef fire to area offices and facilities, but were able to contain the spread to just the lumber yard. A "once in a decade" fire reported one firefighter on scene according to this Missoulian article date 11/23/2003. 

The Roxy Fire, 1994

The historical Missoula Roxy Theater, which opened in 1937, caught fire after a matinee show on the afternoon of February 19, 1994. There were no patrons in the theater at the time, thankfully.

"The blaze was strong enough to blow out the windows and rain debris into the streets. At one point, 30 firefighters tried to suppress the fire from three sides, until the fire chief decided it was fully engulfed and pulled them back, according to a Missoulian article.

’The fire gutted the building. It was determined to be arson, although no one ever was charged."

- Missoulian Article, 9/22/2017

Missoula City firefighters battle in vain to douse an arson fire that gutted the historic Roxy Theat
Missoula Fire Engine in front of the Missoula mansion, ablaze in the background on June 11, 1992.

The Mansion Fires, 1965 & 1992

The Missoula Mansion was a landmark for many years. It first was located in the Rattlesnake neighborhood, overlooking the valley. In 1965 fire struck the mansion for the first time. MFD battled the blaze tirelessly and managed to save the majority of the structure. The owner of the mansion spared no expense and moved the mansion to where it sits today in the South Hills. 

It was not finished with disaster however. On June 11, 1992 fire engulfed the building, wreaking it’s havoc on the mansion for a second time. The mansion was built once again and can be visited today at the Shadow’s Keep Restaurant. 

Ormesher Grocery Store Fire, 1951

"Firemen fighting the Ormesher Grocery Store fire, Missoula, Montana. One fireman stands on the fire exit from the second floor while the rest of the men stand on the ground. Smoke billows from the building which was not fully engulfed when the photo was taken."

- Montana Memory Project

On December 30th, 1951, crews could not get control of the fire at the Ormesher Grocery Store and Moose Lodge building. Fire quickly spread and soon the building was engulfed, causing a collapse. Three Missoula Firefighters were inside at the time and perished the in fire. Bernard J. Albright, Walter E. Crain, and Edward Sayler are the only 3 line of duty deaths in MFD’s history. We remember and honor their service to Missoula. 

Ormesher Grocery Store Fire on Main street, 12/30/1951
Ormeshers fire -12/30/1951
Ormeshers Fire-12/30/1951