ANCHORAGE, Alaska — After several recent house fires across Alaska, state officials are reminding homeowners to practice fire safety. Eight Alaskans have died due to fires this year, and the Anchorage Fire Department says it sees more fire-related incidents in winter.
The most recent fire happened at about 7:30 a.m. in South Anchorage, near the 2500 block of Copperwood Drive. Officials say nobody was injured, but it's another reminder to be aware of fire hazards.
Neighbor Ann Chase, who witnessed the fire, said everything happened very quickly.
“They were working on the fire quickly, but there were flames and we were afraid they would jump to our house,” Chase said. “It's a really devastating thing to go through a fire, even if it's not your house, it's -- it's got an emotional impact on other people. You don't think it would; it certainly did me.”
Fire investigators say blaze started in the kitchen and was probably cooking-related -- a cause that firefighters say they expect to see more of this season.
“Most of the wintertime, we do see a spike up in the number of fires, and people just tend to do more things that involve burning, fireplaces and that sort of thing,” said AFD Capt. Joseph Albrecht.
According to the state, 71 percent of fire fatalities within the past two years occurred in homes that did not have working smoke alarms.
“It needs to be checked twice a year -- batteries replaced two times a year,” Albrecht said. “The main thing is, get your home appliances working; if not have a service man come out, get yourself protected with smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector.”
AFD says the state Division of Fire and Life Safety can answer any questions about smoke alarms or fire prevention at 907-746-5062.
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