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Explosion in Bozeman


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I hope Gibson folks and families are OK!






A natural gas explosion early this morning in downtown Bozeman destroyed several businesses, including two bars, an art gallery and the American Legion. Information is still coming in, but so far, there’s no confirmation on reports of possible injuries or casualties.


The explosion happened at 8:12 a.m. at Boodles bar and restaurant and spread from there, destroying the nearby Rockin R bar, the Montana Trails Gallery and the American Legion—essentially the entire 100 block of east Main street. Starkey’s Deli is also burning but crews are hopeful to stop the blaze there. City officials said at a press conference this morning that one gas line is off, but others are still on—to make sure gas isn’t building up in other places.


Crews haven’t been able to get into rubble to check for injured people or casualties. One official said at the press conference: “There’s so much damage there and so much fire there that we can’t get our crews in to do the kind of searches we typically do.”


NewWest.Net Bozeman editor Lucia Stewart says there’s glass scattered for seven blocks and debris is spread in at least a 200-foot radius.


Gov. Brian Schweitzer immediately flew in and was on hand at the press conference this morning. He promised support for those effected by the explosion—business owners, workers and the likes.


Officials said a large chunk of downtown Bozeman will be closed for several days.


There’s some amazing photographs and on-the-scene information coming out of Twitter. Go here (#bozexplod) to see the tweets and here to see some photographs.


Watch superjaberwocky’s Twitter feed here —so far the most updates.


On the cause: A quote from the press conference: “The exact cause and location of the explosion, we don’t know at this point. It’s too early to say for sure.”


You can also follow live coverage on KMMS here.


Here’s a few photographs from Craig Dugas, who also has a bunch of photos here: and on his Flickr page here.

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Just heard from a friend at Gibson and he said he felt the shock all the way over at the factory but no news of injuries yet.


Well, here's hoping that nobody was seriously injured or killed.


I recall a few years back near me a home exploded that had filled with Natural Gas. The scary thing it happened well after all the utility crews, fire apparatus and other emergency workers were on the scene for a while as utility workers tried to shut off the main gas valve somewhere outside the home. There was literally nothing left of the house and all the immediate surrounding homes suufered major damage as well. Nobody thank goodness was killed by that one.

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Natural Gas... or Propane for that matter is nothing to mess with. Once a building fills up with gas, it doesn't take much to set it off. Flicking a light switch (spark inside the switch... which is normal), picking up a land line phone... same thing. Cell Phone... might too. pilot light in a water heater, stove or furnace, someone starting up a car..., not to mention a cigarette and / or match.... static electricity from your corduroys. it could be sparked from inside the structure or surrounding homes.


When a neighbor of mine punched a hole in a gas line sinking holes for his fence posts, =D> the fire dept. immediately shut off the gas valves to all the houses, two blocks from the gas geyser... and boy was it a sight! Luckily, the gas didn't ignite. The gas company was there within 15 minutes. Got the gas geyser shut down within 2. Took two hours to fix it. He forgot to call J.U.L.I.E..... Boy did the neighbor git a big bill.... paid Sunday overtime to boot! =D>

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