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Authorities investigate possible case of robbery, arson
LARRY MAYER/Gazette Staff Billings firefighters carry smoldering bedding from an apartment in the former Stardust Motel on Montana Avenue Friday afternoon.

Gazette Staff

An elderly man appears to have been robbed before he was rescued from an apparent arson fire in his room at a Montana Avenue apartment Friday.

The 71 year-old man was helped out of his room at 3621 Montana Ave., formerly the Star Dust Motel. The fire in apartment No. 5 was reported about 4:20 p.m.

Billings Police Sgt. John Bedford said that, after talking to the victim, investigators believe the incident may have been robbery and arson.

When emergency crews arrived they found that two witnesses had helped the man out of the burning room and two other people used fire extinguishers to slow the progress of the fire.

The victim was outside the motel room door, semi-conscious, Billings Fire Department Training Officer Frank Michaud said. He was taken to St. Vincent Healthcare by American Medical Response and was listed in critical condition Friday evening, Bedfored said.

Fire crews from Stations Nos. 1, 2 and 4 quickly extinguished the fire and carried out the remains of a charred bed springs.

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