One fatality reported in early morning house fire
By MARY KAUFFMAN
March 23, 2015
Updated March 24, 2015
Abner Hoage, Chief of the Ketchikan Fire Department, told SitNews this afternoon that the residence was engulfed in heavy smoke when the crew arrived on scene. Firefighters immediately engaged the fire and began a search of the residence. Chief Hoage said a body was discovered in the home by the responders. At this time, the name of the deceased is not being released pending notification of the next of kin.
The Ketchikan Fire Department responded to a home fire just after 7 AM this morning in the 2100 block of First Avenue.
Hoage said the cause of fire has been determined; however, that information is not being released at this time, possibly Tuesday. (Updated Tuesday - scroll to bottom)
Unidentified Ketchikan Fire Department Responders
Mutual aid was provided by South Tongass Volunteer Fire Department and the North Tongass Volunteer Fire Department was on standby. No responders were injured.
Several unidentified firefighters of the Ketchikan Fire Department engaging the early morning fire at 2112 First Avenue.
Fifteen firefighters and seven fire apparatus from Ketchikan Fire Department responded to the call. South Tongass Volunteer Fire Department provided mutual aid with an additional 7 firefighters and 3 fire apparatus. The fire was contained to the building of origin and under control within approximately 30 minutes. However, crews remained on scene checking for extension and extinguishing hot spots for several hours.
Investigators from the Ketchikan Fire and Police Department Fire Investigation Task Force have determined the cause of the fire to be electrical in nature. It is believed that the fire may have smoldered for a significant period of time, creating a substantial amount of toxic smoke prior to being discovered.
An inoperable smoke detector was found inside the home. The public is reminded that smoke detectors provide an early warning to fires within a building. However, it is imperative that the detectors be tested regularly and have fresh batteries installed at least once a year.
The name of the deceased has not been officially released.