GREAT FALLS — Emergency crews found a body inside a burned mini-van in a parking lot near the Do Bar in Great Falls on Tuesday.
Witnesses at a nearby coffee shop told KRTV that they saw the parked van in flames in the parking lot.
The Great Falls Police Department says the fire was reported at about 6:36 a.m. When the fire was extinguished, emergency crews found the body inside the mini-van.
According to Lieutenant Doug Otto of the Great Falls Police Department, it is too early in the investigation to determine the identity or even the gender of the victim, or determine the cause of the fire.
The body is being taken to the state crime lab in Missoula for identification and to determine the cause of death.
The GFPD says it is too soon to know whether there is anything criminal about the incident.
They said the investigation is early, and it could "be some time" before any details are released about the identity of the person, and how the fire started.
(1st REPORT, 8:35 a.m.) Emergency crews responded to a mini-van on fire in the parking lot of the Do Bar in Great Falls on Tuesday morning.
As of 8:15 a.m., there are still police officers at the scene, and a Great Falls Fire Rescue special operations trailer at the scene, located at 1800 3rd Street NW.
A large portion of the parking lot is blocked off.
Witnesses at a nearby coffee shop said they saw the parked van in flames between 6 a.m. and 6:30 a.m.
At this point, the GFPD is not releasing information on whether anyone was injured, and there is word yet about what may have caused the fire.
We will update you as we get more information.
NOTE: The GFPD respectfully asked all media at the scene to refrain from stating whether or not there was a body found until they finish processing the scene; we have chosen to honor their request.