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Hot spots finally doused at Lewistown kitty litter plant

Hot spots finally doused at Lewistown kitty litter plant

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It took firefighters until nearly midnight Monday, but the Lewistown Fire Department has completed its work putting out hot spots from a Sunday morning fire that damaged the Mountain Meadows Pet Products Incorporated plant.

The blaze was reported at 12:06 a.m. Monday, said Keith Kucera, Lewistown fire chief. When firefighters arrived, the building was almost completely ablaze.

The plant, at 111 Commercial St., specialized in producing catbox filler made of straw.

Putting out hot spots proved time-consuming, Kucera said, because of the tin used to construct the building. Since the tin didn’t burn in the fire, firefighters had to get the tin out of the way to complete their work.

No one was in the building at the time of the fire, and no one was injured fighting the fire, Kucera said. The fire department was able to protect an adjoining warehouse and office building, he said.

Kucera described the 4,000 square foot facility as “not a complete loss,” but said he didn’t have a dollar amount for the damage Tuesday afternoon.

Insurance company investigators were scheduled to arrive Wednesday, he said.

The state fire marshal has been assisting in the investigation. The cause of the fire is still unknown, Kucera said.

Kucera said a manager at the plant told him company officials may be able to salvage some of the equipment at the plant, but the plant could cost more than $2 million to rebuild.

Kucera said the plant employed about 13 full-time people and about five seasonal employees.

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City Government Reporter

City reporter for The Billings Gazette.

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