A fire at a Parks Highway cabin near Willow early Monday morning claimed the life of a man, according to Alaska State Troopers.
A neighbor woke up at 2:30 a.m. to the sound of the crackling fire, saw flames shooting skyward out of a nearby rental cabin and called troopers, said Beth Ipsen, troopers spokeswoman.
The neighbor tried to get into the cabin but the flames were too intense, she said.
The victim was found on the first floor of the cabin, which had a bedroom in a loft, she said. The cabin measured about 20 feet by 40 feet.
The Alaska State Medical Examiner Office and troopers have not identified the victim and may not for up to a week, she said.
Troopers closed the highway around Mile 62 for several hours when West Lakes and Houston firefighters found two 300-gallon fuel tanks near the burning cabin and received reports of ammunition inside, she said.
The cause of the fire is not yet known but state fire marshals are investigating, Ipsen said.
Two dogs and a goat were tied to the cabin but the fire burned their ropes, freeing them, Ipsen said. Troopers caught the dogs, and firefighters, along with animal control, chased down and caught the goat, she said. She said cats may have been in the cabin but troopers don't know how many or if any were hurt.
Ipsen said fire marshals haven't found dead animals in the cabin, which was destroyed.
By BENJAMIN S. BRASCH