Date: 11/1/2008

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) _ A fire that destroyed the Golden Corral restaurant here Wednesday was likely started by a cigarette or a match that was thrown in the trash, authorities said.

Doug Bennyhoff, fire marshal for Great Falls Fire/Rescue, said investigators determined the fire started in an area where employees regularly smoked. He said it was unknown who was in the area right before the fire started, and investigators will not try to determine who might be responsible for the blaze.

“We had numerous people out there,” he said. “We have no way to tell who (might have started the fire).”

The fire was detected at about 10:35 a.m. It spread quickly, and the building is considered a total loss.

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Information from: Great Falls Tribune, http://www.greatfallstribune.com

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.

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