BILLINGS — One person was injured in an apartment fire in Billings on Monday. The injured person, who was not identified, was trying to help rescue others inside the apartment at the time of the fire. 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.
Firefighters responded to the four-plex apartment building at 50 Miners Place at about 2:45 p.m., according to Billings Fire Battalion Chief Jason Lyon.
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.
The fire was primarily on the northeast side of the building, Lyon said. After the first search, firefighters were evacuated, then a ladder was extended over the fire and firefighters knocked it down with water from above.
Firefighters then went back into the structure to perform a second search for people 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.