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4 Families Displaced by Mountain View Fire

By Chris Klint, Senior Digital Producer, cklint@ktuu.com
Published On: Jan 14 2014 10:44:00 AM AKST
Anchorage Fire Department

Austin Baird photo

Anchorage firefighters respond to the scene of a Tuesday morning fire at a Mountain View four-plex.

ANCHORAGE -

A fire at a Mountain View four-plex Tuesday morning left three apartments badly damaged.

Fire dispatchers received reports of a burning building on North Flower Street around 10:35 a.m.

Thirteen units, including four trucks, responded to control the blaze.

What exactly caused the fire remains unclear, according to Battalion Chief Kevin Keene, but it appears to have started in one unit then quickly spread through the attic to three others.

"We had a really good response time, we got out there fast," Keene said.

Crews were on scene within five minutes, and the flames were under control shortly after 11 a.m. One of the units was not burned.

Michael Gilbert, who lives in a house next door, said he called AFD when he saw smoke that seemed to be billowing from the multi-plex's laundry room.

"I think their lint probably caught fire," Gilbert said. "Who really checks their lint traps?"

Keene said more people should pay attention to small details like that.

"On our shift, this is our fifth fire in two weeks," Keene said. "It's just that time of year where we have to pay extra attention to what's going on."

Gilbert said he is one of the few people who really does check lint traps and batteries on , and for good reason.

His house burned twice in the past few years. One of the fires sparked due to soot buildup in his chimney. The cause of the other was unknown but was far more tragic.

"Unfortunately the downstairs people lost their daughter," Gilbert said. 

Since then, Gilbert said he got rid of the fireplace and the household now does just about everything firefighters recommend: they clean lint traps every couple laundry cycles, they have a couple working fire extinguishers on hand, and the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good order.

Four families and an estimated 10 people were displaced by the Mountain View fire. A Spenard apartment fire Monday displaced more than 30 people.

American Red Cross of Alaska is helping the victims.

Channel 2's Austin Baird contributed to this story.

This is a developing story. Please check KTUU.com and the Channel 2 newscasts for updates.