A fire at the Big Stone Hutterite Colony near Sand Coulee, Mont., destroyed nearly $80,000 worth of hay and the steel barn where it was stored.
Colony secretary/treasurer Andy Wurz tells the Great Falls Tribune the fire was spotted in small bales stacked at one end of the 8,400-square-foot steel building at about 6 p.m. Wednesday. Colony members tried to fight the fire themselves, but Wurz says it spread too quickly.
Wurz says the total loss including the storage barn will exceed $200,000, but he notes that no one was hurt and the fire didn’t spread to nearby livestock corrals.
Wurz says the colony will have to buy hay to replace the 400 tons it lost.
Sand Coulee Volunteer Fire Chief Larry Butler says the cause of the fire is under investigation. Sand Coulee is southeast of Great Falls.
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