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Grain elevator in Montana town of Belgrade destroyed by fire

| February 8, 2022 7:00 AM

BELGRADE, Mont. (AP) — Buildings at a grain elevator in the Montana town of Belgrade were destroyed by fire on Friday, officials said.

The main building of the Columbia Grain Facility appeared to be a total loss, Central Valley Fire District Interim Fire Marshal Jake Zlomie told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

The fire destroyed an office building and part of the original red elevator collapsed, Zlomie said, but so far there were no signs that the fire spread into nearby grain bins.

The fire was reported shortly after 7 a.m. and was still active in spots after 1 p.m. as heavy equipment was being used to gain access to hot spots.

Crews were using excavators to dig into the elevator and remove grain. Fire crews were spraying it down with water and the process continued Friday afternoon, Zlomie said. The fire was burning deep in the grain in the elevator, he said.

The Montana State Fire Marshal's Office was asked to help Belgrade Police and the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office investigate the cause of the blaze.

No injuries were reported. All Columbia Grain employees were home this week, the company told NBC Montana.

Belgrade is a town of nearly 10,500 people about 10 miles (16 kilometers) northwest of Bozeman.