UPDATE: 2 People Buried In Montana Avalanche Now Identified



MISSOULA, Mont.- We are learning more about the victims on Friday's urban avalanche in Missoula. The couple pulled from their home has been identified as Fred Allendorf and his wife, Michel Jo Cloville. Officials at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula say Cloville is still in critical condition while Allendorf's condition has improved to serious.

An 8-year-old boy was also pulled from the ruble Friday. His condition is not known.

Allendorf is listed as a Regents Professor Emeritus at the University of Montana. His profile says he studies population genetics, conservation biology and conservation genetics.

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Officials say all three people who were buried, an 8-year-old boy and two elderly people, have been pulled to safety. many people have also been evacuated from their homes. Crews are still on scene investigating

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(AP) -- An avalanche roared into a residential neighborhood in the western Montana city of Missoula on Friday, destroying a house and leaving an elderly couple missing, but rescuers found an 8-year-old boy alive and rushed him to a hospital, police said.

The boy's condition wasn't immediately known, police Sgt. Travis Welsh said.

An elderly couple lived in the home, and their whereabouts were unknown, but police believe they were inside when the avalanche struck at about 4 p.m., Welsh said.

Their cars were in the driveway, and neighbors said the couple rarely went out.

Neighbors and the first responders dug frantically through the snow and debris, the Missoulian reported.

Firefighters with avalanche probes -- long poles used to penetrate the snow to find victims -- then took over, and the boy was pulled from the snow at about 5:15 p.m.

The neighborhood is in northeastern Missoula at the foot of Mount Jumbo. A natural gas leak was also reported in the area and utility crews were summoned.

Cheryl McMillan, who lives near the house that was destroyed, told the Missoulian she heard a roar but didn't know what it was at first.

"Then, when we looked again, we saw that their whole house was kind of no longer there, at least the top floor," she said.

McMillan said she has lived in the neighborhood for 31 years and never seen an avalanche before.

An avalanche team was en route to the area to assess the danger of another slide, Welsh said.

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UPDATE: Officials say the 8-year-old child has been recovered and is en route to the hospital. The condition of the child is unknown. 

Police say the avalanche happened in the Rattlesnake Valley north of Missoula Friday afternoon. A house was destroyed in the avalanche causing a gas leak, which crews are working to stop right now. 

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

An avalanche team is on the way to the scene to assess whether or not there is any danger of a second avalanche. 

There are no evacuation warnings yet. 

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Missoula Police officials confirm there has been an avalanche in the Rattlesnake area on Holly Street. A house has been destroyed and an 8-year-old is buried. Emergency officials are on their way.    

This story is developing and we will update you as soon as we get any additional information.