UPDATE: Missoula Rattlesnake Avalanche - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

UPDATE: Missoula Rattlesnake Avalanche

Posted: Updated:

Missoula police say it was a coordinated, city-county effort to pull the three people from the avalanche that destroyed a two-story home on Holly Street in the Rattlesnake area.

Two adults and an 8-year-old boy were buried by the avalanche that occurred Friday afternoon. Power lines were also knocked down and a gas leak occurred.  

Currently, an avalanche team is assessing the risk of a second slide, and residents should be aware they may be forced to evacuate.

Police say they worked with the sheriff's office, county search and rescue teams and avalanche experts at the scene.

Det. Sgt. Travis Welsh of the Missoula Police Department commended the effort. "Usually in times of crisis, people come together and perform heroically and get the job done."

Dozens of shovels hit the snow as people from around the Missoula community came together to aid law enforcement in recovering the victims of the avalanche and stop a gas leak.

One area resident thought he heard a snow plow outside when his entire laundry room was taken out by the avalanche but the first thing on his mind was to make sure no one was hurt.

"Scary as heck because when I hear there might have been someone in there and I smelled the gas, I just wanted to help the other people."

The extreme weather may have closed down the town for the day but community members say there was no question they wanted to jump in and give a helping hand.

"He just said there's an eight-year-old buried under snow so I grabbed a shovel."

Dozens of Missoula residents crowded the area trying to find out how they could help up until the last victim was transported to the hospital.

Police say the avalanche team is also using trained dogs to make sure nobody else is still trapped under the snow.

Anyone who is currently displaced from the area should go to the First Baptist Church at 308 West Pine Street.  Pruyn Veterinary Hospital (829-8150) at 2501 S Russell in Missoula is taking the pets of avalanche victims. They can take in 10-15 cats and 10-15 dogs (more if needed) while their humans stay at the Red Cross shelter in Missoula.

Police have confirmed the female resident of the home destroyed by an avalanche has been rescued and transported to St. Patrick's Hospital.  All three victims of the slide are now accounted for.

Police said the one male resident whose house was demolished in the avalanche has been recovered and taken to St. Patrick's Hospital. Crews are currently working to recover a second female resident of the home.

Police said crews are working to stop a gas leak coming from the house that was demolished in the avalanche.

Sheriff's officials also say the two elderly residents of that home are still missing.

The 8-year-old boy has been recovered from the avalanche on Holly Street and has been transported to St. Patrick's Hospital. An avalanche assessment team is en route to determine if a second slide is possible.  

Missoula Police officials confirm there has been an avalanche in the Rattlesnake on Holly Street. A house has been destroyed and an 8-year-old is buried, a power line is down and a gas leak has occurred.

Emergency officials are on location. We have a reporter there and will bring the latest as we get it.

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