Nine people are displaced but uninjured Friday after a fire blazed through their townhouse on Creekside Center Drive off Muldoon Road.
Officials with the Anchorage Fire Department say no one was home when the fire started around 6 p.m. The proximity of the homes and the fact that several units are built into each town home caused firefighters to respond with 13 units and an extra engine.
The blaze started on the first floor, and AFD says it fully consumed one of the building's three units.
The flames singed the siding on the town home adjacent to the burning unit, but firefighters say the inside of the neighboring unit was unharmed.
Captain Danny Costanios with Fire Station 6 credited the unit’s modern construction and built-in firewalls with preventing the blaze from spreading.
“The other units have a firewall in the attic space,” Costanios said. “The fire had worked its way up into the attic, and it was burning heavily, but there was a firewall in the attic that prevented it from moving to the middle unit.”
Neighbor Arlene Marks said the fire spread rapidly.
“I went running down the stairs and come through the driveway when I come across the corner,” she said. “The whole porch was engulfed in flames, it wasn't even ten minutes: it was engulfed in flames.”
AFD officials says the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
A spokesperson for the Red Cross of Alaska said the two families, comprised of nine people, are seeking shelter with agency in a local hotel. The Red Cross is also assisting with food, clothing, and medication.