Woman dies in Chugiak fire

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - 19:00
She re-entered house after exiting safely, CVFD says

A woman died after she re-entered a burning house in Chugiak on Monday, Nov. 18, according to the Chugiak Volunteer Fire Department.

The woman, who was not identified Monday, exited the home at 15813 South Birchwood Loop with two other occupants then re-entered, CVFD Chief Virginia McMichael said.

“We don’t know why she went back inside,” McMichael said.

A dog that was inside the residence was outside and safe, she said.

One of the occupants was transported to Providence Alaska Medical Center, McMichael said, and the other was sent home.

One of the occupants reported the kerosene heater was on fire at 7:29 a.m., McMichael said. CVFD responded in six minutes, she said.

“When they got there, there was already flames coming out of the roof,” McMichael said.

A total of 15 units between CVFD and the Anchorage Fire Department responded, McMichael said.

The older, single-story structure was a log cabin covered with siding, McMichael said. The house is still standing, she said.

The State Fire Marshal and medical examiner are taking over the investigation, McMichael said.

With temperatures dropping, McMichael said residents need to be careful when using their heat sources. All heat sources should be inspected, she said, and flammable material should be kept at a safe distance.

If a structure is on fire, McMichael said, anyone who exits should never go back inside.

“If you get out, stay out,” she said.

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