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Montana Tech off-campus housing building hit by fire - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Montana Tech off-campus housing building hit by fire

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GREAT FALLS -

Butte-Silver Bow emergency crews responded to an early-morning residential fire on Friday.

A press release from Butte-Silver Bow Fire Department says that two engines responded to a report of a fire at a residence at 1038 Missoula Avenue (Montana Tech Off-Campus Student Housing) at 5:42 a.m. 

Firefighters encountered smoke and flames showing from the exterior of apartment #1032, and quickly extinguished the exterior fire. 

The fire that reached the interior of the apartment was extinguished by the activation of the apartment’s sprinkler system. 

Fire crews then focused their attention on the interior of the apartment, checking for extension in apartment #1032 as well as the adjoining apartment, and controlling the water flow from the two activated sprinkler heads.

The apartment was occupied by three men.

One man was suffering from smoke inhalation and was treated and taken from the scene by A-1 ambulance to a hospital.

The fire damaged the exterior siding, two large exterior windows, the front door, and the overhead awning.

Water damage was noted within the apartment; however, the sprinkler activation confined the fire to the exterior of the building and kept it from engulfing the entire residential complex, saving lives, and limiting property damage.

The Butte-Silver Bow Fire Investigation Team determined that the fire was accidental, with the origin being at the site of an exterior BBQ that has been used the previous evening. 

Fire Department crews checked for fire extension and cleared the scene after 7:00 a.m. 

Total cost damages are said to be minimal. 

The press release thanks Montana Tech for having a properly installed and maintained automatic fire sprinkler system. 

Thanks also goes out to the Butte police department, A-1 ambulance, Big Butte Volunteer Fire Department, as well as the maintenance, engineering and security crews of Montana Tech for their rapid and professional response. 

“This is a great sprinkler success story, the facilities sprinkler and alarm systems did their jobs. There were no fatalities, minimal amounts of property damage and after some minor clean-up this apartment should be back up and running quickly," said Assistant Fire Chief Doherty, “This is a great example of how sprinklers save lives; they are efficient, effective, and essential in protecting both lives and property.” 

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