Woman, 4 children safely escape Eagle River house fire

Anchorage Daily NewsSeptember 10, 2012 

Dana Ouellette was at home with four children and a fire in the wood stove of her rented Eagle River log house Monday morning when she heard a crackling sound.

She went upstairs to investigate and found that the roof was on fire.

Ouellette called 911 and got her children -- ages 10,4, 3 and 1 -- out of the house.

Firefighters from Eagle River, Anchorage and Chugiak arrived to fight the blaze, said Steve Kostlin of the Anchorage Fire Department. There were no fire hydrants nearby and the terrain was steep.

"It took a while to access the structure," he said.

AFD officials say there's no word yet on what caused the fire, though Kostlin said it appeared to be related to the wood stove. Much of the roof of the home is burned away and the house is water-damaged and uninhabitable, he said.

Ouellette and her family have lived in the rental home since November. Her husband, she said, is deployed in Afghanistan.

A pet dog escaped the fire safely. A cat is still missing.

"Hopefully he's just hiding somewhere," she said.

It's not yet clear whether the family will be able to retrieve any of their belongings or where they will stay.

"We'll wait and see," she said. "We're going to try to make a plan this afternoon."

Reach Michelle Theriault Boots at mtheriault@adn.com or 257-4344.

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