Cause of Nunam Iqua house fire that killed 3 under investigation

Michelle Theriault Boots
courtesy Alaska State TroopersA house fire in southwest Alaska killed three people and injured two others Friday morning June 28, 2013 in Nunam Iqua.
courtesy Alaska State Troopers
Three people died in a fire that destroyed a three-bedroom home in the Southwest Alaska village of Nunam Iqua on Friday.
Photo courtesy Alaska State Troopers
Three people died in a fire that destroyed a three-bedroom home in the Southwest Alaska village of Nunam Iqua on Friday. PHOTO COURTESY ALASKA STATE TROOPERS
Three people died in a fire that destroyed a three-bedroom home in the Southwest Alaska village of Nunam Iqua on Friday. PHOTO COURTESY ALASKA STATE TROOPERS
Three people died in a fire that destroyed a three-bedroom home in the Southwest Alaska village of Nunam Iqua on Friday. PHOTO COURTESY ALASKA STATE TROOPERS

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 mtheriault@adn.com or 257-4344.


By MICHELLE THERIAULT BOOTS
mtheriault@adn.com