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Update, 11:29 a.m. -- The gym and auditorium of Heritage Christian School were destroyed in a blaze of unknown origin around 11 p.m. Saturday night.

According to Patrick Coyle, incident commander of the Rae/Sourdough Fire Department, his crews were paged to the scene of the fire just after 11 p.m. Upon arrival, smoke was coming from the attic of the school.

Assistance from the Bozeman, Central Valley, Fort Ellis, Gallatin Gateway and Livingston fire departments was called in, and due to the difficulty accessing the fire, the crews worked throughout the night and into Sunday morning to put it out.

Despite their efforts, the roof of the gym collapsed before crews could get the flames under control Sunday morning.

Just before 10 a.m. Sunday, Coyle said an engine remained on the scene to watch for flare ups.

While the fire did destroy the gym and auditorium, the rest of the school sustained no fire damage, only smoke and water damage.

“This is definitely not a complete loss,” said Coyle.

The cause of the late night blaze was not known as of Sunday morning. The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office will be investigating.


Update: 10:53 a.m. -- Shortly after 4 a.m., Heritage Christian School posted this message to its website:

A fire damaged Heritage Christian School during the evening hours of Saturday, August 25, 2012.  Families are being notified by email this morning and there will be a meeting for parents this coming Monday.  We will post the time and location for the meeting on this website as soon as we have that information.

We will continue to post updates on this website as they are available.  In the meantime, an email has been set up for questions:   hcsbozeman@gmail.com.

The Chronicle has reporters looking into the fire this morning, and we will update you as soon as possible online and in tomorrow's paper.


Original report: A fire broke out at Heritage Christian School in Bozeman late Saturday night. Firefighters from numerous departments were on scene and still battling the blaze at 3 a.m. Sunday.

Few details were available, but the fire appeared to be burning chiefly in the gymnasium area of the school, which is located at 4310 Durston Road.

Witnesses who lived across the street from the fire said it started around 10:30, though that was not confirmed by firefighters.

No information about the cause or extent of the fire was available early Sunday morning, as firefighters were still trying to put the fire out.

Look for more details on this story on the Chronicle's website Sunday and in Monday's paper.

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