Central Emergency Services responded to and successfully put out a structure fire in Soldotna Wednesday morning.
At about 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday an on-duty Alaska State Trooper reported a fire along the Sterling Highway, according to an Aug. 28 press release from the Kenai Peninsula Borough’s Central Emergency Services. Firefighting crews arrived on scene within eight minutes of receiving the call and found that a two-story wood frame duplex located between Boundary Street and Mayoni Street had smoke and flames coming from the western side of the building in the upstairs unit.
Firefighters immediately went to work to extinguish the flames, and by about 3:12 a.m. they had the flames under control. By 4:19 a.m. the incident commander reported the fire as out. A total of 18 CES personnel, including several volunteers, responded to assist with suppression efforts. CES Deputy Chief Dan Grimes said that CES personnel have been assisting with the Swan Lake Fire operations but were present at the station when the structure fire occurred.
The resident of the unit and state troopers on scene said that everyone made it out of the building, and no injuries were reported. According to the press release, the resident of the upstairs unit used two personal fire extinguishers to clear a path through the flames and made it to the outside staircase via the second-floor deck.
The downstairs unit sustained no smoke or flame exposure, and no one was inside the downstairs unit at the time of the fire.
The cause of the fire is accidental, the press release said. The investigation determined that a smoker appliance placed on the second-story deck caught fire, which then spread to the exterior of the structure. Grimes said that the occupant of the upstairs unit reportedly fell asleep with the smoker on. The case is closed, Grimes said, but the exact details of how the smoker caught fire are still being investigated.