Cause of Nunam Iqua house fire that killed 3 under investigation

mtheriault@adn.comJuly 1, 2013 

Three people killed in a house fire in the Southwest Alaska village of Nunam Iqua Friday have not yet been identified, said Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen Monday.

The fire started at about 6 a.m. Friday, Ipsen said.

Fourteen people, including children, were in the three-bedroom house at the time of the fire, Ipsen said. Some were sleeping and some were awake.

The fire broke out near an entrance, so people couldn't escape through the front door, she said. "Some ended up getting out through a window."

The names of the dead have not yet been released because a medical examiner hasn't positively identified their remains, Ipsen said.

It's not yet known what caused the fire, she said. A deputy fire marshal flew from Anchorage to the village this weekend to investigate, she said.

People in the village tried to douse the flames, first with buckets of water and then with garden hoses, Ipsen said. They eventually put the fire out.

"By then it was two-thirds burnt," she said.

Nunam Iqua, a village of about 200 people near where the Yukon River meets the Bering Sea, does not have a resident village public safety officer, Ipsen said. Organizing firefighting efforts often falls to VPSOs in villages without a fire department.

The fire is the sixth fatal fire in Alaska this year, according to an Alaska Department of Public Safety database.

Reach Michelle Theriault Boots at or 257-4344.

Anchorage Daily News is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service