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Update: 1 injured in Billings Heights apartment fire

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Posted at 8:31 AM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-03 10:31:45-04

Update: Tuesday, 8:15 a.m.

Billings fire officials said in a press release Tuesday morning that one person was injured in the fire.

The injured person, who was not identified, was trying to help rescue those inside the apartment at the time of the fire, the press release states. The person was taken to a hospital, but their condition was not available.

The fire was caused due to improperly discarded smoking materials on the back deck, fire officials said. The fire caused an estimated $750,000 in damage and property loss.

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First Report

BILLINGS - Billings firefighters put out a structure fire that damaged a fourplex apartment building at 50 Miners Place in the Heights Monday, according to Billings Fire Battalion Chief Jason Lyon.

There's still no word on what started the fire.

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Billings firefighters monitor a structure fire at 50 Miners Place in Billings.

Authorities were notified that smoke and flames were seen coming out of the building via a 9-1-1 call at 2:45 p.m. When firefighters were on their way to the scene, they saw a smoke column emanating from the area in the Heights, Lyon said.

Firefighters heard from bystanders at the scene that there were people possibly trapped inside. Firefighters searched the four apartments and found no one inside, Lyon said.

“With most of the apartments being on the back side, that presented significant challenges to us for putting the fire out. Some fire had to be extinguished before we could make entry into the apartments," Lyon said.

Fire was predominantly located on the northeast side of the structure, Lyon said. After the first search, firefighters were evacuated, then a ladder was extended over the blaze and firefighters knocked it down with water from above.

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Firefighters use a ladder truck to spray water on a structure fire at 50 Miners Place in Billings.

Firefighters then went back into the structure to perform a second search for victims and found no one inside, Lyon said. Billings police officers and firefighters made contact with three of four residents of the apartment building. Lyon said they had no reason to believe the fourth resident was inside at the time of the fire.

Lyon also mentioned unconfirmed reports of one person who was transported to the hospital via ambulance before firefighters arrives on scene. Another unconfirmed report said a bystander had ran into the flaming building to try and get people out to safety, but suffered injuries and had to be taken to a local hospital, Lyon said.

Members of he Billings Fire Prevention Bureau will investigate the cause of the fire and if anyone was injured, Lyon said. MTN News has reached out for comment to the bureau for confirmation on injuries, but have not heard back as of Monday evening.

In all, four engines, one ladder truck, one battalion chief, two brush trucks, one tender two American Medical Response units and Billings police officers responded to the emergency, Lyon said.

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Damage done by fire to the apartment building at 50 Miners Place in Billings Heights.