Fire destroys livestock commission building
The Miles City Livestock Commission building burned to the ground on Saturday, with the loss estimated at more than $1 million.
Firefighters were called to the structure, located at 337 I-90 Business on the west end of town, just after noon, said Custer County Fire Chief Bud Peterson. When an alarm went off, one of the workers at the commission saw smoke coming out of the interior of the building, Peterson said.
A second caller, a half-minute later, could see flames coming through the window.
“This building was built in the early 1900s, so it’s really old and dry,” Peterson said. “By the time the engines arrived on scene, the building was totally engulfed. Then we got a little push of wind, which didn’t help anything.”
About 20 firefighters from the Miles City Fire Department and the Custer County Fire Department battled the blaze for two hours. Equipment included four structure engines and two water tenders.
One firefighter was injured at the scene, Peterson said. The man was initially taken to Holy Rosary Hospital in Miles City and then transferred to a Billings hospital. His condition is unknown.
There were no animals inside the building at the time of the fire, Peterson said. Animals that were outside the building were moved to safety, and none were injured.
Peterson estimated the loss of the building at more than $1 million. He wasn’t certain whether it is insured. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.
Reached Saturday evening, Miles City Livestock Commission Co. owner Bart Meged said he had no comment. A notice on the commission’s website read: “Due to unfortunate circumstances there will be no sale this Tuesday the 16th. We will be back on schedule the 23rd.”
The Miles City Livestock Commission Co. “is one of the oldest stockyards in this part of America,” according to the company’s website.
Originally it sold only horses, including thousands of military horses all around the world. Now, it sells all classes of livestock, with an emphasis on cattle.
The company built a new facility at its present location in 1950, the website said. Rob Fraser, Bart Meged and two other partners bought the auction in September 1991.
Fraser bought out the interests of all owners, except Meged, in 1995. In January 2015, Meged bought Fraser’s interest, and with his wife, Misty, became the sole owners.
Read more: http://billingsgazette.co...05f96.html