The Missoula City Fire Department was called out early Thursday afternoon to a fire in a duplex on Amber Court near 55th Street.

Battalion Chief Kip Knapstad said there was black smoke billowing out of the structure when fire crews arrived.

“When we arrived there was black smoke coming out of the windows and the windows were starting to crack from the heat,” said Knapstad. “The first unit in went on fire attack and knocked down the fire. Nobody was home at the time, but they arrived shortly afterwards. We did find a cat inside and it was returned safely to the owners.”

Knapstad said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

“There was pretty heavy fire damage in the kitchen,” he said. “We responded with three engines, a training officer and three rookie firefighters, and there was an EMS coordinator there as well.”

Knapstad estimated the damage to be nearly $30,000, but the quick work of the firefighters resulted in more than $300,000 property saved. The other part of the duplex and its residents were not affected by the fire or smoke.

Other responding agencies included the Missoula Police Department, Missoula Emergency Services Ambulance, NW Energy and the Red Cross, who are providing housing for the displaced family.

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