BILLINGS - A woman and two children escaped a house fire Thursday morning in central Billings.
The fire was reported at about 7:40 a.m. at 51 Rhea Lane.
Sgt. Scott Conrad of the Billings Police Department was a few blocks away when he heard a dispatch for the house fire, the department said in a press release. Conrad immediately drove to the house and saw smoke coming from the residence and heard yelling from the back of the house.
A large dog in the backyard prevented Conrad from reaching the woman and the children who had taken shelter in a bathroom, so he kicked in the front door. A woman carrying an infant immediately ran to the front of the house as Conrad noticed flames in the kitchen and smoke throughout the house.
The officer then noticed a 2-year-old child by the bathroom and after yelling at the child to come out with no response, he entered the burning structure to grab the child who then ran toward him.
The woman later said the kitchen stove caught fire and she could not get out the front door so she took the children to the bathroom and opened a window for fresh air. The window was too small, however, for the woman to get out.
The woman and two children were outside of the house when the Billings Fire Department arrived minutes later.
Battalion Chief Ed Regele said the front door of the home was open when they arrived and the woman and children were standing outside.
Fire officials later said it appeared the fire was started accidentally by combustibles left on top of the kitchen stove.
There was fire damage in the kitchen and smoke damage to the rest of the house.
The resident says that they have lost everything: "Everything in our house is a total loss."
The amount of damage was estimated at $200,000.
There were no injuries reported.