Fire badly damaged an East Anchorage mobile home Saturday afternoon, briefly filling the sky in the area with a thick column of black smoke.
All seven people in the home at 4200 E. 4th Ave. escaped the blaze safely, according to police on the scene. The fire broke out about 2:30 p.m.
Yia Lee, 17, who lives in the home, said his family moved in three or four years ago from Milwaukee. He stood across the street in a T-shirt and jeans as firefighters mopped up the blaze. Ash streaked his face.
Lee said he first tried to put it out with water, then escaped.
The family told firefighters that they were inside the trailer with a barbecue cooking in the arctic entryway when the flames broke out, said Anchorage battalion chief Tim Garbe.
"Their smoke detector alerted them and they were able to exit before anybody got hurt," he said.
Garbe had no estimate on the cost of the damage, but said most of the trailer is a loss.
The Red Cross is housing the family, including children as young as 2, at an Anchorage hotel, said volunteer Bruce Whelan. They'll also receive a kind of debit or credit card with enough money to buy clothes and food for the next week, he said.