Peters Creek fire leaves 7 homeless

No injuries reported in Thursday morning blaze


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This home on Deer Park Drive in Peters Creek caught fire the morning of Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012. Seven people inside were able to escape without injury.

Star photo by Matt Tunseth

An early-morning house fire in Peters Creek left seven people — including a volunteer firefighter — without a home Thursday, Jan. 5.

According to Chugiak Volunteer Fire Department assistant chief Clifton Dalton, a call came in at around 7:45 a.m. that a house on Deer Park Drive was ablaze. When crews arrived several minutes later, they found heavy smoke coming from the roof of the single-story house.

“It was burning undetected a long time before the residents were aware of it,” Dalton said.

The home belongs to Ian Murphy, a volunteer with the department. Murphy, along with his wife, their three children, an exchange student from Thailand and another family member were inside the home at the time, Dalton said. No one was injured.

Dalton said the family used a wood-burning stove. He said the fire likely began as a chimney fire, then spread into the home’s roof. Because the house has a multi-layered roof, the fire was able to spread extensively before anyone realized something was amiss.

“The thing that saved them was their smoke detector,” Dalton said.

Crews were still on the scene Thursday afternoon, and heavy smoke could still be seen coming from the roof. Dalton said that the roof had three layers of building materials, making the fire very difficult to get to.

“Whenever it gets between the layers like that it’s almost impossible to fight,” he said.

Dalton said the Red Cross had been contacted to help the family with temporary housing assistance.

CVFD responded to the fire with three engines, a heavy rescue truck and two medic units. Additionally, crews from Anchorage Fire Department Station 11 helped out with a ladder truck and engine truck.

Contact Matt Tunseth at 694-2727 or matt.tunseth@alaskastar.com

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