Fire Claims Dot Lake Utility Building

A fire burned down a utility building in Dot Lake Sunday, taking out essential infrastructure in the Alaska Highway community between Delta Junction and Tok. Village Council President William Miller says no one was hurt in the late night fire, but that it destroyed the over 3 thousand square foot facility, valued at more than a half million dollars. Miller says the building housed necessities for the community of 45 people.

Miller says it also provided water to the homes and other Dot lake area residents, who hauled water from the facility. The fire also knocked out power to the village community hall. He says local responders were unable to help fight the fire because a portable water pump failed. An investigator was on scene yesterday, and Miller says the cause of the fire does not appear to be accidental.

Miller says nothing from the facility is salvageable except the well. He says the village is seeking a state disaster declaration, and is already getting help from the Tanana Chiefs Conference and the Alaska Intertribal Health Consortium to bring the well back on line.

Miller says the goal is to try to get the water system operating again before freeze up. He says the community is getting by in the mean time by making use of other facilities, including homes outside the village core area, and the Dot Lake tribal offices and school, which have their own water systems.

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Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

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