- Associated Press - Friday, February 20, 2015

ENNIS, Mont. (AP) - State investigators say the fire that gutted the Sportsman’s Lodge in Ennis last month was accidental.

Deputy State Fire Marshal Pat Clinch said Thursday the fire was likely caused by a malfunction of a refrigerator/freezer unit in the kitchen. It was reported at 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 20.

Madison Valley rural firefighter Shawn Christensen says the roof collapsed on the front half of the building, which was virtually destroyed. Firefighters were able to save the back half of the building, but there was extensive smoke damage.

Co-owner Don Lindeberg told The Montana Standard (https://bit.ly/1MFnRNK ) they plan to rebuild. The dining room and kitchen are slated for demolition on Monday. He said the bar and casino are scheduled to re-open in mid-March, followed by the restaurant and kitchen in mid-June.

The lodge was built in the 1940s.

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Information from: The Montana Standard, https://www.mtstandard.com

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