Tuesday's Fire Causes Major Damage
September 09, 2011
Fire Chief Frank Share of the Ketchikan Fire Department said the first call came in to 911 dispatchers at 10:54 PM Tuesday with the caller reporting “heavy smoke in the area”. When the Ketchikan Fire Department arrived on they reported that the fire appeared to be on upper Main or Front Street. The fire at that time had already breached the roof of 422 Water Street with the majority of the third floor of the building involved in fire. 422 Water Street is on the water side of the downtown tunnel.
Firefighters were informed that there may have been an occupant on the third floor; however, that person was found to have already moved out of the apartment and was accounted for. Due to the extent of the fire and the possibility of collapse, firefighters set up a defensive operation and used the ladder truck and master streams to contain the fire and protect exposures above the fire.
The third floor of the structure was severely damaged and partially collapsed with small areas still burning when crews from public works were called to provide an excavator for overhaul said Chief Share. The third floor was removed to prevent a further collapse onto Water Street. The cause of the fire remains undetermined at this time said Share.
Seventeen Ketchikan Fire Department members responded along with mutual aid provided by North and South Tongass Volunteer Fire Departments.
There were no injuries sustained at the fire.
The City of Ketchikan Building Officials worked with the owner to secure the building and the lower windows have been boarded up.
Chief Share reminds readers to check their smoke alarms and have an escape plan with your families.
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