Firefighters found a person dead in a quick East Anchorage apartment fire early Friday. Police later called the fire suspicious.
The name of the victim, a man in his early 20s, has not been released, police said.
Someone called 911 about 2:30 a.m. saying they'd seen smoke behind a three-story apartment building in the 200 block of McCarrey Street, said fire department spokesman Al Tamagni. Firefighters from Station 3 arrived and noted light smoke coming from the first floor of the building, Tamagni said. Other residents were outside the multiunit complex, he said.
Firefighters grabbed a hose and headed toward one of the apartments. Inside, they found thick black smoke and a blaze in the living area that they extinguished, Tamagni said.
"Whatever it was that was on fire burned for just a short amount of time," he said. "It's just kind of a weird incident. We go to those types of fires, and we expect it to continue. There was just a little bit of hot spot that they put out."
The firefighters then found a person they quickly realized was dead, Tamagni said. The fire was contained to the one apartment, but others in the building were evacuated as a precaution, he said.
Anchorage fire and police investigators are looking at the cause of the fire, Tamagni said. Police spokeswoman Anita Shell said the fire appeared to be suspicious but the investigators were not saying yet why they thought that. They'll be looking at the possibility that it was set intentionally, Shell said.
Most of the firefighters were on scene for a short time, while others stayed to "maintain the integrity of the scene" for the investigators, Tamagni said.
Tamagni said it was too early to say whether foul play was involved in the death. It is not uncommon for a person to die from smoke inhalation in a relatively small fire, he said.
Reach Casey Grove at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4589.