Two people have been found dead following an explosive house fire Friday night in the Yukon River village of Galena.
A deputy fire marshal is investigating the blaze and reported the discovery of the bodies Saturday, said Alaska State Troopers spokesman Tim DeSpain. The cause of the fire is unknown, he said. The bodies will be sent to the medical examiner's office in Anchorage for identification.
Galena residents say the general manager of local radio station KIYU, Terry Fair, lived at the two-story Louden Road home with his wife Kim. No one has seen or heard from the couple since the fire, said Jeremy Scott, operations manager and news director for the station.
Known to radio listeners in Yukon villages as "Shadow Steel," Terry Fair left the station about 7 p.m. Friday, a few hours before the fire, Scott said. Kim Fair was also believed to be in town.
There is a presumption in Galena, population 500, that the couple was killed in the blaze, said Tim Bodony, chief for the Galena Volunteer Fire Department. The couple's cars were parked in the driveway when the fire began and no one else lives at the home, he said.
"They were more than likely in the home when this fire happened," Bodony said.
Neighbor Keith Ramos said he heard an explosion at the home some time after 9 p.m. Friday. "By the time we got there, the house was engulfed completely."
Bodony, who once worked at the radio station with Terry Fair, also lives a few houses from the fire. He didn't hear the explosion, he said, but other Galena residents told him they felt it rattle their windows.
He said the blast was likely not the cause of the fire, however. "That was secondary. There were people actually on site who had seen smoke and flames first," Bodony said.
Fair has worked at the radio station for more than 10 years, he said. The station manager is known in Galena and surrounding villages for appearances on programming like "Yukon Wireless," a community bulletin board program that announced school lunch menus, upcoming meetings and other village news.
"He was definitely known throughout the area. ... A real character," Bodony said.
No one with the state Division of Fire and Life Safety could immediately be reached for comment.