- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 1, 2015

BUTTE, Mont. (AP) - A months-long battle over the fate of a partially collapsed building in Butte was sealed Tuesday when Butte-Silver Bow County crews began demolishing it to help fight a fire that had been burning in the rubble for days.

County officials have wanted to demolish the five-story warehouse since November and require owner Neil “Joe” Lynch Jr. to pay for the costs, but a judge had not given them access to the property to do the work.

The building partially collapsed last June. Lynch argued the county was partially responsible because damage due to a broken water pipe led to the collapse.

A fire started smoldering in the rubble on Friday, blew up on Sunday morning and again on Tuesday.

A state fire marshal will investigate the cause of the fire.

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