An explosion and ensuing fire near Hauser Lake Tuesday night destroyed a trailer and left a disabled veteran homeless, according to officials.
Crews from Tri-Lakes Volunteer Fire Department responded around 8 p.m. Aided by East Valley Volunteer Fire, crews fought the blaze for more than five hours.
Tri-Lakes Fire Chief Bob Drake said the home is a total loss and the cause of the fire and explosion appear to be from a propane heater.
When the explosion happened, the owner was inside the home, but he only suffered bruising and minor burns.
“It blew a 8 foot by 8 foot section of wall out, all the windows and the doors out. He’s very lucky to be alive,” said Drake. “He singed the hair all over his face. He had a full beard and hair.”
The homeowner was checked out by St. Peter’s Health medics before being released.
The heater believed to have caused the fire was being used under the trailer to thaw frozen pipes.
Three dogs were also at the residence at the time of the fire. One of the animals died.
-Reported by John Riley/MTN News
(1st Report, 9:11 a.m.) An explosion and ensuing fire outside of Helena near Hauser Lake destroyed a trailer house Tuesday night.
Tri-Lakes Fire Department responded to reports of an explosion on the 4800 block of Deal Lane around 8 p.m.
Once crews arrived, they found a mobile home on fire. The owner was inside the trailer when the explosion happened.
He was checked for injuries at the scene and only suffered minor bruising. First responders said he’s very fortunate.
“It was literally completely involved. I mean there was flames coming out of it. The trailer house, it just went quick,” Tri-Lakes Assistant Fire Chief Aaron Helfert said.
Tri-Lakes had the fire under control close to 9 p.m. and the trailer appeared to be a total loss.
Other responding agencies including East Valley Fire Department, the Lewis and Clark Sheriff’s Office, the Montana Highway Patrol, and St. Peter’s Health ambulance services.
There were reports of animals inside the trailer. Their condition is unknown at this time.
We will update you with any new information.