Down–But Not Out!

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Anchorage ARP

Warehouse Burns–Over Million Dollars In Damage

ANCHORAGE FIRE

By Mike Schmickrath –

A two-alarm fire destroyed the Anchorage, Alaska, Adult Rehabilitation Program warehouse in the early morning hours recently, forcing the evacuation of 54 residents and staff and causing $1.7 million in damages. Another $100,000 in water and smoke damage was sustained.

No injuries occurred in the 3 a.m. blaze, which gutted 78 percent of the structure, destroying the four apartments and all the contents of the warehouse, which included clothing, household goods, furniture, appliances and beds which were to be sold in the Thrift Store. The men’s residence sustained only water, smoke and roof damage; office equipment and computers were damaged extensively by water.

The fire originated above the second-level ceiling of the warehouse, which partly collapsed onto the lower level. Firefighters battled the blaze for five hours. “This is a terrible time for this to happen,” stated Divisional Commander Major Harold Brodin. “We’re just grateful to God that everyone got out safely.”

When the fire alarm sounded, the residents rushed out of the center into the freezing night, where temperatures had dropped to just nine degrees. The men huddled outside the building until they were transported to the Anchorage Citadel Corps.

“I’ve seen nothing to indicate a criminal act at this point,” said fire investigator Captain McDonald as firefighters continued to put out hot spots. McDonald credited firefighters with saving the residential quarters by cutting a trench in the roof to keep the flames from spreading. “They did a wonderful job.”

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