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Butte commemorates 100th anniversary of Granite Mountain Mining fire

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BUTTE, Mont. - The city of Butte suffered the worst loss of life ever in a mining fire 100 years ago today.

Some 168 men lost their lives in the fire in 1917. It started when an electric cable was lowered into the mine igniting a carbide lamp when miners were down working their nightshift.

The flame spread throughout the shaft timbers filling the Granite Mountain Mine with toxic smoke.

Jerry Walter, the president of the Granite Mountain Memorial Board of Directors, said history like this is part of what gives Butte its character.

"I think it's the heart of Butte. This story is kind of, you know, Butte tough. Maybe we got it from that point, I don't know," Walter said.

There will be an event honoring the 168 miners who lost their lives at the Butte Granite Mountain Memorial at 7 p.m.

"This should be a touching ceremony for the city of Butte," she said.

Walker also said there will be a play entitled "No Greater Love," a story on how Butte handled the disaster on Friday and Saturday.

The full schedule of events can be found here.

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