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Electrical fire at Fort Harrison

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A fire at Fort Harrison caused major damage to the Mess Hall overnight.

UPDATE: 01/12/12 5:00pm

The VA Fire Department, next to the fort, was on scene within seven minutes of the call. Last night, Public Information Officer, Major Tim Crowe, reacted to the prompt response from the VA and local fire organizations.

“Very impressive first response by not only the Veteran's Affairs Department, but for the mutual aid fire teams that came with: West Valley, Baxendale and East Valley,” says Major Crowe.

First Lieutenant Dan Bushnell says a security guard roaming the fort discovered the fire on the northwest corner of the building at about 11:40pm Wednesday night. The fire stayed contained in the attic of the Mess Hall and was put out by 2:15am Thursday morning. Lieutenant Bushnell says an electrical appliance, most likely hardwired into the building, started the fire.
Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Deputies and Helena Police Officers as well as State Fire Marshalls investigating, narrowed it down to a fan or heater. Bushnell says the National Guard Bureau will look now to determine the future of the federal facility.

“At this point we're just going to secure the building, keep people that are stationed here at the post as well as the visiting troops and any of the public who might want to drive by to keep them out, keep them safe and then we'll determine what will be the future of this building,” says 1st Lt. Bushnell.

The guard does not have a financial estimate on how much damage was done, however Lieutenant Bushnell says much of the kitchen area is salvageable. He says the structure itself didn't take as much damage but the guard is concerned with water damage from the melted snow.


Story by Jess Armstrong, Beartooth NBC.
Copyright ©2012 Beartooth Communications Company. All Rights Reserved.




Fire engulfs building at Fort Harrison

Just before midnight, Wednesday a call came in for a structure fire at Fort Harrison.

According to Major Tim Crowe, Chief of Public Affairs for the Montana Air National Guard at Fort Harrison, the security team discovered the fire while checking the facility.
“The Fort Harrison Veteran Affairs Fire Department responded to a 911 call that our security team placed for a fire at the mess hall facility here at Fort Harrison,” says Major Crowe.

The building that caught fire was Mess Hall 303. It was immediately evacuated. 

“This is one of our mess hall facilities. It’s an operational dining facility for our troops we use when soldiers are on Fort Harrison training,” says Major Crowe.

The Veteran Affairs Fire Department was the first on scene.

“Very impressive first response by not only the Veteran Affairs Fire Department, but for the Mutual Aid Fire Teams that came with West Valley, Baxendale, and East Valley,” says Major Crowe.

The cause of the fire cannot yet be determined. We will continue to keep you updated as soon as information is released.

Story by Ellen Bacca, Beartooth NBC.
Copyright ©2012 Beartooth Communications Company. All Rights Reserved.

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Fort Harrison, Major Tim Crowe, Fort Harrison Fire

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