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Bozeman Explosion

Bozeman Explosion
Five businesses destroyed in Bozeman explosion.

So far it's been confirmed that five downtown Bozeman businesses have been destroyed in a Thursday morning explosion that rocked the city (photo gallery).

Boodles, Rocking R Bar, the American Legion, Lily Lu children's store and Montana Trails Gallery were destroyed in the explosion that occurred shortly after 8 a.m. Thursday in the 200 block of East Main Street.

A two-block radius surrounding the area has been evacuated and a fire continues to burn.

Thursday's gas explosion that destroyed a downtown eatery is the largest explosion in Bozeman in 24 years, according to Assistant City Manager Chuck Winn who spoke at a press conference at 10 a.m.

So far there are no reports of any casualties, Winn said, calling the explosion "a very serious incident."

Authorities said they believe the explosion originated at Boodles on Main Street.

Crews continue to work on battling the fire which is still burning in the city's downtown and are also working on preventing the fire from spreading to the east.

Authorities are asking people to stay out of two-block radius around the incident and are predicting that the downtown area will be shut down for several days.

Meanwhile, the National Guard is ready to mobilize to help out if needed.

One eye witness said she was eating at Main Street Overeasy when she heard the explosion. It sounded like a cannon firing, she said. Diners heard the explosion, felt the building shake, then the electricity went out.

Another witness reported seeing debris falling from the sky in the area as late at 10:20 a.m.

Another press conference is being held at 2:00 p.m.

The city is holding a press conference at 10 a.m. on a Thursday morning explosion that rocked downtown Bozeman, destroying a Main Street eatery and prompting the evacuation of the area.

Reports indicate the explosion happened just around 8:00 a.m. Thursday in the 200 block of Main Street in the city's downtown.

Boodles, a downtown bar and restaurant was destroyed. Police have issued a mandatory evacuation of the two blocks surrounding the eatery.

Crews are working to extinguish the fire at the restaurant where smoke is rapidly rising and power has been reportedly cut in a portion of Mendenhall.

Ken Olson, the owner of the Pickle Barrel, a Main Street restaurant in the area, said no one was in his eatery at the time of the explosion and he believes all of his employees are safe. There is no word yet on whether anyone has been injured.

A diner at Main Street Overeasy on Main Street described the sound like that of a cannon firing. She said diners heard the noise and felt the building shake. The power immediately went out, she said.

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