Structure fire not enough to stop the Western Montana Fair
By Eric Clements - MTN News
The fire broke out in the 4-H Cafe at the fairgrounds. (MTN News/Mark Thorsell photo)
No injuries were reported as a result of the fire. (MTN News/Mark Thorsell photo)
No one was hurt after a fire erupted inside the Missoula County Fairgrounds Friday evening during another busy carnival night.
The blaze was sparked inside the 4-H Cafe, near the center of the fairgrounds at around 7:45 p.m.
The Missoula City Fire Department keeps a fire engine at the fairgrounds during the Western Montana Fair, so the response was almost immediate.
Missoula City Police helped secure the area around the fire to prevent fair goers from both getting in the way or getting hurt.
Crews were able to knock out the fire quickly, but remained to investigate the cause of the fire, which has not yet been determined.
Missoula County Fair Director Emily Bentley said when the fire started, cooler heads prevailed.
“People just really snapped into action. They pulled all the tables away, the crowd was calm, they stayed back. I think the crowd did a great job, and I'm just so impressed with our first responders. They were quick to the scene, they were brave, and we're just so grateful for them,” said Bentley.
The fair director said none of the surrounding structures were damaged in the fire, and the 4-H Cafe will reopen Saturday inside the Glacier Ice Rink.