Posted: Aug 13, 2013 9:57 AM by John Sherer
Updated: Aug 13, 2013 9:57 AM
BOZEMAN - No one was hurt when a fire west of Bozeman on Huffine Lane burned the Country Mall antiques store to the ground.
The fire was reported at about 9:30 p.m. on Monday. The row of shops includes the antiques building and the Amish furniture store.
Kurt Sampson, a witness, said, "You know, being in Montana, you usually see wildfires, but you don't see anything like this."
Several agencies from around the valley rushed to fight the fire.
When they arrived, the front of the building was engulfed in huge flames and the fire was spreading to the back of the building.
Brian Nickolay, Rae Fire Chief, said, "We believe our initial reports were that it was caused by a vehicle fire from a vehicle that was parked in front of the building and then the vehicle fire spread to the building."
Several loud booms were heard as firefighters battled the flames; Nickolay said, "We have several propane tanks, portable tanks around the building. They're just basically venting gas, is what they're doing."
Nickolay says investigators will have to determine what caused the car to catch fire and start the blaze that destroyed the building.
Authorities do not yet have a dollar estimate of the damage.