"Pipple building burns"
Printed in the April 1, 1970 issue of the Knik Arm Courier:
Spontaneous combustion was named as the cause of a fire which completely destroyed a storage building at Mile 14 ½ on the Old Glenn Highway last Wednesday.
The building was the property of Walter Pipple, and had been standing unused for the past several years.
According to Eagle River Fire Chief Tom Take, a quantity of old fertilizer and lime which was stored in the building had become wet and had generated sufficient heat to start the fire. Take said that the chemicals were at least 11 years old.
The fire was reported at 12:20 p.m. By the time the equipment responded the blaze was out of control. Take said that while the exterior of the building was sheet metal, the walls were insulated with about one foot of sawdust and there was about two feet of sawdust insulating the ceiling.
Thirty mile per hour winds also added to the difficulty of fighting the fire. Take said that with the exception of the fertilizer, where was very little of value stored in the building. He estimated the loss at about $40,000. There was no insurance.
This column is provided by the Chugiak-Eagle River Historical Society. Reach them at [email protected] or leave a message at 688-4706.