Update 5:22 p.m.
Billings firefighters said that a Tuesday morning fire at an area marijuana facility started when an employee accidentally ignited ethanol vapors.
The fire caused $500,000 in damages at the Elevated dispensary at 3620 Duck Creek Road. It was contained in the distillation room of the marijuana processing facility, according to Billings Deputy Fire Marshal Andrew McLain. The equipment in the room, which was insured, took heavy heat damage, and the walls were charred, McLain wrote.
Investigators determined the cause was accidental, according to McLain.
The employee was flown to a Denver hospital for severe upper-body burns, according to firefighters.
(first report) An employee was injured and hospitalized in a fire at a Billings-area marijuana dispensary Tuesday morning.
The fire at the processing facility owned by Elevated at 3620 Duck Creek Road was reported around 9 a.m. and contained within 15 minutes, according to Victoria Hill, a Billings city spokesperson.
The employee suffered “severe upper-body burns,” and no update on the victim’s condition was available Tuesday afternoon, according to Hill.
Firefighters took extra caution in fighting the fire because marijuana-processing facilities use flammable chemicals such as butane and ethanol, Hill said in a news release.
The Billings Fire Prevention Bureau is investigating the fire.