- Associated Press - Monday, February 9, 2015

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - An employee of a Laurel fiberglass manufacturing plant is charged with negligent arson for a fire that destroyed the plant last week, causing up to $7 million in damages.

Kristopher Michael Harasymczuk (HAIR’-uh-sim-chuk) made an initial appearance in Justice Court Monday by video from the Yellowstone County jail. He did not enter a plea. Justice of the Peace David Carter set Harasymczuk’s bail at $25,000 and ordered him to appear in District Court on Feb. 17.

Prosecutors say an employee at the plant was using an acetone solution to wash his hands and arms on Feb. 6 when he saw Harasymczuk holding a lighter. He said he didn’t see him flick the lighter, but suddenly he was on fire.

Investigators say Harasymczuk told them the fire was started by static electricity.

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