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Update: Choteau apartment building 'total loss' after explosion, fire
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Update: Choteau apartment building 'total loss' after explosion, fire

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A Google street view image of the Gunther Apartments in Choteau.

A Google street view image of the Gunther Apartments in Choteau.

An explosion in an apartment building on North Main Avenue in Choteau occurred just before noon Tuesday, according to the Teton County Sheriff's Office.

The explosion at the Gunther Apartments, 413 N. Main Ave., resulted in a structure fire that knocked out power to portions of the town, Choteau Mayor Chris Hindoien confirmed.

"I'm sitting here in City Hall looking at this plume of smoke," Hindoien said. "It's going to be burning for a while."

The building, which had eight apartments, will be a total loss, Hindoien said. The explosion happened just before noon in one of the apartments, but the cause is unknown.

A former city employee got out of his apartment with his two dogs, but not his wallet, Hindoien said. Another resident's dog was lost in the fire, he said.

The fire displaced 24 residents, two of whom were taken to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation, the Associated Press reported.

The pump station used by firefighters temporarily lost power as a result of the fire and had to be run on generator power for approximately 30 minutes until NorthWestern Energy restored power. Hindoien said there was no lapse in water for fire engines.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Local Government and Crime Reporter

Nolan Lister is a reporter at the Helena Independent Record with an emphasis on local government and crime.

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