Victims of Kalispell Trailer Fire Identified as Young Children

Deeana Bass, 2, and Ryker Bass, 3, died after a trailer caught fire on California Street in Kalispell earlier this week

By Myers Reece
A fireman at the scene of deadly trailer fire on East California Street in Kalispell on the morning of Nov. 18, 2020. Two people were killed and a third hospitalized in the overnight blaze. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office has identified the victims of a trailer fire earlier this week as two young children.

Deeana Bass, a 2-year-old girl, and Ryker Bass, a 3-year-old boy, died after a trailer caught fire at 737 East California St. in Kalispell after midnight on Nov. 18, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office. Both children were transported to the Montana State Crime Lab for further investigation.

“This incident shocked our community and our first responders,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. “We extend our heartfelt condolences to the family.”

Crews from the Kalispell Fire Department (KFD) were dispatched to 737 East California St. shortly before 1 a.m. on Nov. 18 and reported finding only a small amount of smoke and no visible flames coming from the structure. Upon entry, however, three occupants were found inside in critical condition.

All three victims were transported to Kalispell Regional Medical Center for their injuries, and two were pronounced dead that morning. Authorities said the third person suffered “critical injuries” but offered no further details.

The fire was mostly limited to the front room of the trailer and had been largely extinguished by the time firefighters arrived. Crews from the Evergreen, Smith Valley and Whitefish fire departments also responded.

The structure was deemed a total loss with fire and heavy smoke damage, according to a Nov. 20 joint press release from the KPD and KFD, who have been mutually conducting an investigation, along with the Montana State Fire Marshal’s Office, to determine the cause of the fire. The press release stated the fire was deemed accidental, although the cause remains undetermined.

“This incident represents a significant loss to the families, friends and neighbors of the deceased and we offer our sincere condolences to all parties,” according to a joint KPD and KFD statement.