BELFIELD - A 24-year-old South Heart worker died at a treater house fire on an oil well site in Billings County on Wednesday.
Christopher James Okland was killed at a site about 11 miles north of Belfield and seven miles west of North Dakota Highway 85 at 1:45 p.m.
Billings County Rural Fire Department and the Belfield Ambulance responded to a call and found a treater house engulfed in flames that was destroyed. A treater separates oil from water and natural gas after it comes out of the ground.
Okland was found in the fire rubble after it was extinguished. There was an emergency call reporting an explosion, and then 15 minutes later a call was made reporting a fire. Both calls are a part of the investigation.
Billings County Emergency Manager Pat Rummel said the site is owned and operated by Enduro Operating, LLC. while C and D Oilfield Services services the well.
While much is unknown currently about the accident, the Okland family will be laying a family member to rest.
“Chris always had a smile,” said his sister, Nicole Okland. “He would help anyone the best he could. He was a honest, caring and a respectable young man.”
The fire is under investigation by the state fire marshal and Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Funeral arrangements are pending and will be handled by Ladbury Funeral Service in Dickinson.