Nov 24, 2012 7:19 PM by Beth Beechie - MTN News
GREAT FALLS - A house fire in Great Falls on Friday evening was quickly extinguished, and although no people were inside at the time, two family pets perished.
Dennis Andis and his mother lived in the house, located at 1012 8th Avenue North, and he said, "It's hard to understand, that there's no more home, you know. There's no more, 'I'm going home.'"
His mother Donna was at work when the fire sparked, and Dennis says he left the house to go to nearby Dante's restaurant just minutes before he saw fire trucks pass him by.
"It happened that fast. It'd have to have happened 10 minutes after I left," he said.
Fire crews were able to contain most of the damage to the front of the house, but smoke damage reached most of the home and the fire claimed the lives of the family's two pets, Little Bill and Buddy.
Great Falls Fire Rescue estimates the fire caused about $60,000 in damages.
"A lot of material stuff is easily replaced. Obviously the animals hit us really hard and the fact that it's her house she's built up for so long. There's no more home,"Dennis said.
Donna lived in the home for 14 years; now she says she has family she'll stay with until more details can be sorted out, while her son says he'll hop from friends' and family's houses.
The cause of the fire is not yet known; officials are continuing their investigation.