A Soldotna woman who fell asleep while cooking woke up to her house on fire shortly after midnight Monday.
Central Emergency Services responded to a residential fire at 35125 Huntington Drive off of Kalifornsky Beach Road in Soldotna. When crews arrived at about 12:45 a.m., the roof of the single family home was fully involved in flames, said CES Health and Safety Officer Brad Nelson.
Two adults and three pets made it out of the house uninjured. Three Kenai firefighters were called in for extra manpower to assist the nine CES responders, Nelson said.
Firefighters had the fire under control in 40 minutes and after about an hour the fire was out. The roof was lost but the structure remained standing. Heat damage throughout the house makes the fire a total loss, Nelson said. The property value is estimated at $146,000.
Crews stayed on scene for two hours to extinguish hot spots and help the owners save as much of their personal belongings as possible.
“Our priority is to get the fire out but at the same time we try to throw tarps over belongings and make a concerted effort to salvage mementos,” Nelson said. “We know some things are not replaceable.”
A preliminary investigation showed the fire most likely started from the owner cooking on the stovetop. She fell asleep on the couch and awoke when the smoke detector alarm went off, Nelson said. The owner attempted to put out the fire by waving a towel, but the flames were too high and she got out of the house, he said.
“Cooking fires are the number one cause of residential fires in the United States,” Nelson said. “Lucky for her she had a working smoke detector which possibly saved her life.”
Reach Dan Balmer at firstname.lastname@example.org.