Anchorage apartment fire kills 1, displaces dozens

Debris fills the yard of a burnt apartment building while a man stands on a ladder.
Debris, charred walls, and boarded-up windows surround this repairman following a fatal apartment fire in Anchorage’s Mountain View neighborhood on Wednesday, March 8, 2023. (Valerie Kern/Alaska Public Media)

A Wednesday evening fire at an apartment complex in Anchorage’s Mountain View neighborhood left one person dead and displaced everyone else living there overnight, firefighters say.

According to Anchorage Fire Department Assistant Chief Alex Boyd, crews responded just before 8 p.m. to a 20-unit, two-story apartment building on the 400 block of North Bragaw Street. There were flames and smoke visible from the second floor. 

One person was reported missing, but was soon found by police outside of a second-floor apartment, said Boyd.

“They moved that person to the fire crews who initiated care,” he said. “The person was declared dead at the scene due to the level of injuries that they sustained.”

The victim hasn’t yet been publicly identified, Boyd said. No other injuries were reported.

Only the victim’s unit burned in the blaze, Boyd said, but water from fire hoses damaged several other units. Everyone living in the building was displaced Wednesday night, with the Red Cross of Alaska providing assistance.

A man stands on a ladder in front of a burnt apartment building.
A repairman tends to the electrical damage of an Anchorage apartment building following a fatal fire Wednesday night, March 8, 2023. (Valerie Kern/Alaska Public Media)

Investigators are working to identify where and how the fire started, Boyd said. He said it’s unknown if there were working smoke alarms in the building or the engulfed apartment.

Firefighters urge residents to confirm smoke alarms are working, and check their batteries.

Wednesday’s blaze was Anchorage’s fifth fatal fire of 2023.

Chris Klint is a web producer and breaking news reporter at Alaska Public Media. Reach him at cklint@alaskapublic.org. Read more about Chris here.

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