Montana Casino Fire Leads to Two Deaths, Cause Under Investigation

Posted on: April 21, 2022, 02:25h. 

Last updated on: April 21, 2022, 12:23h.

Two people died in a Wednesday morning fire at Honest Toms Saloon & Casino in Bridger, Mont. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

Honest Toms Saloon & Casino
Honest Toms Saloon & Casino in Bridger, Montana, pictured above. Police and fire officials are investigating the cause of a blaze at the property. (Image: KRTV)

The local police chief found smoke billowing out of the front door upon arrival at 9:30 AM on Wednesday. He yelled out to see if anyone was inside, but no one answered. He was able to open a screen door. He could only see a couple of feet inside.

We got the fire department here as soon as possible and they discovered two bodies,” Bridger Police Chief Mike Buechler told KTVQ, a local TV station.

As of mid-day Wednesday, the investigation was ongoing, The Carbon County News, a local news organization, reported. No word on what they initially discovered.

Multiple fire departments responded to the fire. They included units from Bridger, Fromberg, and Belfry. They contained the blaze to the solitary building. The State Fire Marshal’s office, the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office, the Montana Department of Criminal Investigations, and Bridger Police jointly investigate the fire.

Bodies Found in Building

The identities of the two victims were not released by local officials as of Wednesday. Both were found deceased in the building. There was speculation that the victims may have been a male and female,, a local news operation, reported.

The casino remained closed on Wednesday. It typically closes at 2 AM daily, according to an online listing. It typically resumed operations at 9 AM daily.

Officials did not release an immediate damage estimate for the property. The exterior of the small building appeared scorched. Police tape surrounded much of the building.

The casino is located on the main thoroughfare through the southern Montana town. Bridger is a small community located about 47 miles south of Billings, Montana.

Earlier Fires

Last month, a slot machine at Bally’s Twin River Lincoln Casino Resort in Rhode Island caught fire. The March 8 fire was caused by a machine malfunction. It was quickly contained to the casino floor. The blaze did not cause any significant damage, nor was anyone injured. Bally’s Twin River Lincoln remained open.

In an earlier incident, Resorts World Las Vegas on the Las Vegas Strip was the site of a fire last June. It took place before the property’s grand reopening. The blaze broke out in a storage area. It housed building materials and mechanical equipment, according to KLAS, a local TV station. The storage area was situated behind a parking garage.

Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the storage area. There were no injuries. Flames and billowing black smoke were seen along the Strip before firefighters extinguished the blaze.