A fire destroyed a three-story building on 56th Street West Monday morning.  The building was not occupied when the fire started and the cause remains under investigation.  The fire was reported at about 3:20 a.m. Multiple explosions occurred after the fire started, likely from propane tanks or welding equipment inside the building, according to Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder.

 
The shop was used for storage and manufacturing purposes and did not house a business.  The fire reportedly destroyed heavy equipment including a backhoe and a skid-steer.  The main building and three modular buildings, valued at about about $5 million, are a total loss, according to the Fire Marshal.

 

The property and its contents were insured.  Fire crews trucked water into the area from as far away as Zoo Drive, which complicated fighting the “extremely hot” blaze, the release said.  The Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office and Billings fire marshals are investigating.