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Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
The Blackcat fireworks store was destroyed by fire Wednesday morning in Evanston, Wyoming.

A fireworks shop is burning in Evanston, Wyo., leaving firefighters with no choice but to let the blaze burn itself out.

The Black Cat Fireworks building off Exit 3 on I-80 has been ablaze since at least 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, when emergency dispatchers were notified by a security alarm indicating a break-in.

"We're figuring the fire had burned long enough that one of the glass windows had broken out and set their alarm off," said Evanston Fire Chief Don Bodine. "A police officer was about a minute away. He arrived and told us it was fully engulfed."

Fireworks were shooting off constantly. Because the fire was so fully involved, Bodine said they had no choice but to watch as the fire burned itself out.

"We opted not to put anybody at risk," he said. "It was just gone by the time we got the call."

By Wednesday afternoon, the fire was still burning but the big yellow metal building was no longer yellow, Bodine said. The metal roof was buckling and fireworks were still going off.

"It's still shooting off," the chief said. "You stick your head in there and fireworks go off and scare the devil outta ya."

The building had no fire suppression system, and Bodine said that is likely due to the age of the building. An investigator from the state fire marshal's office in Wyoming is en route to the scene to begin looking for a cause of the fire.

Black Cat Fireworks is located just over the Utah-Wyoming border and has been the destination of many Utahns' run across the border for fireworks that are illegal in Utah.

Bodine called the building a total loss.

"We saved the Dumpster," he said.


E-mail: bwinslow@desnews.com