2 dead in East Anchorage weekend vehicle fires

the seal of a fire department
The seal of the Anchorage Fire Department. (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)

Two people died in separate East Anchorage vehicle fires less than 12 hours apart over the weekend, according to first responders.

Neither victim had been named by Monday afternoon, pending notification of their families, police and fire officials said.

The first fire happened Saturday evening on the 4600 block of Klondike Court, north of Russian Jack Park. The Anchorage Fire Department said it got a report of the fire at 6:09 p.m.

“The unit arrived on scene at 6:11 p.m., within two minutes, to find a single vehicle fully involved in fire,” said a statement from the department. 

Firefighters extinguished the vehicle and found the victim inside. An initial investigation and witness interviews suggested “the fire was likely caused by improperly discarded smoking material,” according to the department.

AFD Assistant Chief Alex Boyd said Monday that the vehicle had been parked at the time of the fire.

“The owner of the vehicle is also a resident of one of the homes in the area, and it was being used more as kind of a shed space or a sheltered space,” Boyd said.

No foul play is suspected in the death, Boyd said. He said lab tests are being conducted to determine additional details on the fire’s origin and cause.

The second vehicle fire happened early Sunday.

Anchorage police said dispatch got an automated alert from an iPhone at 5:02 a.m. saying the phone’s owner had been in a crash. They could track the phone to an area outside of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, near the Glenn Highway’s Fort Richardson exit.

“At 5:05 a.m. JBER Fire and Police responded to a fire in the trees near Richardson Frontage Road and located a single vehicle off the roadway engulfed in flames,” police said in a statement. “APD officers responded to the scene. The sole occupant of the vehicle was declared deceased at the scene.”

Police spokeswoman Renee Oistad said she didn’t immediately have further details on the crash available Monday morning.

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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