Blaze rips through Evergreen equipment shop

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    Firefighters survey the damage after the fire at Reddig Equipment and Repair on U.S. 2 in Evergreen on Wednesday. (Aaric Bryan/Daily Inter Lake)

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    Firefighters rip off the canopy of a destroyed bus behind Reddig Equipment and Repair on U.S. 2 in Evergreen on Wednesday. (Aaric Bryan/Daily Inter Lake)

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    Ice forms on the shelves after the fire at Reddig Equipment and Rental in Evergreen on Wednesday. (Aaric Bryan/Daily Inter Lake)

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    Firefighters survey the damage after the fire at Reddig Equipment and Repair on U.S. 2 in Evergreen on Wednesday. (Aaric Bryan/Daily Inter Lake)

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    Firefighters rip off the canopy of a destroyed bus behind Reddig Equipment and Repair on U.S. 2 in Evergreen on Wednesday. (Aaric Bryan/Daily Inter Lake)

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    Ice forms on the shelves after the fire at Reddig Equipment and Rental in Evergreen on Wednesday. (Aaric Bryan/Daily Inter Lake)

A construction equipment shop in Evergreen suffered extensive damage Wednesday in an early morning structure fire that temporarily shut down U.S. 2.

Evergreen Fire and Rescue arrived on scene at Reddig Equipment and Repair at 1:15 a.m., to find heavy smoke pouring out of the shop at 2866 Highway 2 East. No injuries resulted from the fire, but much of the equipment and vehicles housed inside were destroyed by the blaze that firefighters were still working to control late Wednesday morning. The cause of the fire is still unknown.

According to Evergreen Fire Chief Craig Williams, the fire triggered an alarm that called for response from 10 fire departments throughout the valley, around 50 personnel, aid from the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Transportation, Montana Highway Patrol, Northwest Energy and Flathead Electric. Traffic on the highway was temporarily shut down and remained snarled through the morning.

Flammable liquids and gases contained within the building accelerated the blaze, caused multiple explosions and led to extensive material damage, Williams said.

Firefighters were able to save all of owner Billy Reddig’s business files and records.

Crews cleared the scene and reopened all lanes of traffic on U.S. 2 at around 1:30 p.m.

Reporter Mary Cloud Taylor can be reached at 758-4459 or mtaylor@dailyinterlake.com.

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