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Yellowstone Ave fire

Billings firefighters battle a house fire at 123 Yellowstone Avenue Monday morning.

Billings firefighters extinguished a garage fire at 123 Yellowstone Ave., Monday morning, after neighbors spotted smoke and helped get the residents out of the house.

Officials have not yet determined the cause of the fire, although Billings Fire Department Battalion Chief Todd Kinkead said it appeared to have started along the wall of the attached two-story garage before spreading to an attic. Some smoke had gotten into the rest of the house but Kinkead said the damage appeared to be confined to the garage.

Damage to the home was estimated at $50,000, said Deputy Fire Marshal Trever Schilling.

No one was injured, and homeowner John Collins said he was able to get his two dogs out of the house after his next-door neighbor, Lori Heimbichner, alerted him to the fire.

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Heimbichner stood on the sidewalk and watched as firefighters climbed onto the first-story roof of the garage, using a chainsaw to remove one of the attic walls and using a fire hose to spray water through the window.

"I saw smoke billowing from the back" of the house, she said, adding that another neighbor was already walking out of her house across the street. "She called 911 and I just beat the heck out of their door."

The structure also houses a basement apartment and a free-standing apartment in the back yard, homeowner John Collins said. Another neighbor, Patrick McCleary, was able to wake up the two basement tenants, who were also asleep when the fire ignited.

Damage to the property is estimated at $50,000, according to a Billings Fire Department press release. 

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