NewsLocal NewsFlathead County


Arson ruled out in deadly Columbia Falls house fire

C Falls House Fire
Fatal Columbia Falls Fire
Columbia Falls Fatal House Fire Map
Posted at 10:33 AM, Nov 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-23 12:35:07-05

KALISPELL — Flathead County Sheriff Brian Heino tells MTN News that arson has officially been ruled out as the cause of a house fire in Columbia Falls on Nov. 14 that killed two people.

Heino said investigators have ruled the fire as accidental and are still waiting on the exact cause and origin.

Fatal Columbia Falls Fire

The Flathead County Sheriff's Office responded to reports of a fire at Hodgson Road and 8 X Lazy K Road shortly after 10 a.m. on Nov. 14.

Deputies arrived to find a residential structure fully engulfed in flames.

Law enforcement talked with witnesses on the scene and determined that two males did not make it out of the home and were deceased.

Columbia Falls Fatal House Fire Map

Kalispell resident Christian Watts told MTN News that both his stepdad Jeff Watts and his grandfather Lowell Smith died in the fire.

Watts said his mother Miriam Watts and grandmother Doris Smith escaped the house with his grandmother jumping out of a second-story window to survive.