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The workplace accident occurred at a well site off of South Ash Coulee Road north of Belfield at around 1:45 p.m. local time. Emergency crews responded to a call of a treater house that had caught on fire. Treaters separate oil from water and natural gas after it is extracted.
The treater house was completely engulfed in flames and destroyed, reports The Dickinson Press. Rescue crews arrived and found 24-year-old James Okland in the rubble after putting out the fire. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Officials say they received a call of an explosion about 15 minutes prior to calls of the treater house fire.
The Dickinson Press reports that the site is operated by Enduro Operating, LLC. The fire and worker’s death is under investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as well as the North Dakota fire marshal. Okland’s sister, Nicole, said he always had a smile on and would help anyone the best he could.