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Fire truck

Firefighters extinguished a fire that was burning a variety of debris in an abandoned mine shaft near York Tuesday night. 

Tri-Lakes Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bob Drake said a caller reported seeing smoke from Canyon Ferry Dam around 8:45 p.m. Tuesday. York Volunteer Fire Department and Tri-Lakes responded to the scene and smelled smoke.

"We started looking for it, we could smell it, but we couldn't see it," Drake said.

After arriving at the intersection of Ward Road and Brown's Gulch, Drake said, firefighters spread out in concentric circles to find the cause of the blaze. 

"It was in a nice little secluded place where nobody could see the fire," Drake said.

Officials say someone apparently lit a bench on fire and threw it down the abandoned shaft, which in turn set fire to a mattress and other debris on the bottom.

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"When we got there it was burning really hot," Drake said.

Firefighters eventually filled the hole with fire-retardant foam and put the flames out.

"It was a good thing it wasn't August," Drake said.

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Crime and Health Reporter

Crime and health reporter for the Helena Independent Record.

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