On Friday, February 28, an avalanche destroyed two homes in lower Rattlesnake. A man, a single mother and her 10-year-old daughter were able to escape, but their fourth family member, 8-year-old Phoenix Scoles, was trapped for 45 minutes before being rescued.

Photo courtesy of a Rattlesnake resident

Phoenix is in fair condition and recovering at St. Patrick hospital.The Scoles' rental is a total loss and they do not have rental insurance.

In the second home was a couple, Michel Jo Colville and her husband, Fred Allendorf. At last check, Michel remained in critical condition and Fred was upgraded to serious condition. Fred is a retired U of M professor and Michal is an artist, their home was completely destroyed.

Volunteers are still digging through the deep snow in attempt to recover both families belongings. It has been confirmed that the avalanche was human caused and witnesses say that there was a man who was snowboarding in the area who emerged from the mountain above the homes to help dig when the avalanche occurred.

The avalanche danger in the Missoula area was hiked to high on Saturday, and Missoula Mayor John Engen closed off city lands in the Mount Jumbo and Mount Sentinel areas as a safety precaution.

Photo courtesy of a Rattlesnake resident

There are two ways to help the victims. There in an online fundraiser for the Scoles family where it's very simple to donate money. A bank account has been set up for Michel and Fred and you can donate at any branch of the Missoula Federal Credit Union. For more information, you can call the Credit Union at (406) 523-3300.

Thank you again to the hundreds of volunteers who rushed to the scene and helped clear snow for emergency vehicles and helped to rescue Phoenix. Missoula is truly a unique and amazing community, it's an absolute honor to be surrounded by so many kind and genuine people.