Fire officials said quick thinking Friday by a Roscoe-area property owner may have saved his garage and woodshop from burning to the ground.
At about 3:15 p.m., fire officials in Absarokee and Red Lodge responded to a report of an outbuilding on fire on 8 E. Rosebud Road in Roscoe.
Red Lodge Fire Chief Tom Kuntz said that because of the distance — 20 miles from Red Lodge and about 13 from Absarokee — it took fire crews about 30 minutes to arrive on scene.
"With a working fire that far away, you don't usually expect to be able to save the whole building," he said. "We expected it to be destroyed when we got there."
Instead, they arrived to find a manageable fire inside the 40-by-50-foot building. Its owner kept the building's doors closed when the fire started, which limited the amount of oxygen available to feed the flames.
"Considering the potential this fire had, the damage was relatively minor," Kuntz said. "There was a lot of stuff in there that could've really burned in that shop. If the doors were open, it could've been much worse."
Once on scene, it took firefighters from Red Lodge, Absarokee and Columbus about five minutes to put the fire out, he said.
While an exact amount wasn't available, Kuntz estimated damage from the fire at several thousand dollars. He said it burned a pile of wood, damaged a support beam and destroyed some shop tools and shelving.
The fire appears to have started when a wood-burning stove ignited a nearby pile of wood.
Red Lodge firefighters responded with one engine and two water tenders, Absarokee brought one engine and Columbus provided another tender.