Workers Safe After Montana Plant Fire, Explosion

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Columbia Falls, Montana -- Multiple explosions and a fire rocked the fiberboard plant on Tuesday.  Thick plumes of smoke rose in the air as two to three explosions boomed in Columbia Falls.

The explosions began around 3pm.  Fire departments and emergency personnel responded.  All workers escaped safely, but a few were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.

"There is extensive damage to the exterior of the building.  It was a significant explosion," said Sheriff Chuck Curry.

The explosion is still under investigation.  "We're still in the process of containing the situation.  I know [the workers] have all been evacuated and they are safe," said Kate Tate, Plum Creek spokesperson.

Residents near the plant could feel the explosions rumble.  "I was sleeping and there were two blasts that woke me up," said Krista LaRoque, a nearby resident.  "It kind of shook the house, and I thought that my husband was moving things."

When a cause and fire protection measures are released, we will update.