1 person dead in Midtown Anchorage fourplex fire

fire vehicles at a burned home
Anchorage Fire Department employees at the site of a Midtown Anchorage fire that occurred early in the morning on Sep. 13, 2023. (Wesley Early/Alaska Public Media)

One person is dead after an Anchorage apartment building caught fire early Wednesday morning. 

Assistant Anchorage Fire Chief Alex Boyd said officers were alerted to a fire at a Midtown fourplex on East 48th Avenue near Cordova Street around 4:17 a.m. He said officers arrived roughly four minutes later. 

“At this point, our investigators believe the fire started on the ground floor, and they are confirming the origin and cause of that fire today as they investigate,” Boyd said. “But it does appear it started on the ground floor unit and moved to the upstairs unit.”

One person was found dead in the downstairs unit. The state medical examiner is confirming their identity, and it will be released once family have been notified, according to Boyd.

Boyd said the unit where the fire is believed to have begun did not have working smoke alarms. He said that’s an unfortunate trend for most of Anchorage’s eight fatal fires this year.

“One of the common themes there is in the majority of those fires, there were no smoke alarms present, or not in working condition at the time of the fire that contributed to the fatality,” Boyd said.

He said, fortunately, a resident in the upstairs unit did have a working smoke alarm and they were able to alert other residents.

Boyd reminded residents to regularly check their smoke alarms, recommending that they change out the batteries when they change their clocks for Daylight Savings Time.

Wesley Early covers Anchorage life and city politics for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at wearly@alaskapublic.org and follow him on X at @wesley_early. Read more about Wesley here.

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