Chugiak home uninhabitable after Wednesday fire

Tegan Hanlon

A stubborn blaze Wednesday afternoon ripped through half of a five-story Chugiak home, leaving it uninhabitable, said fire department officials.

Chugiak crews received a call shortly before 3:45 p.m. from a neighbor who reported flames shooting out of a house in a cul-de-sac in the 1200 block of Grasser Road, said Virginia McMichael, chief of the Chugiak volunteer fire department.

Eleven Chugiak units and six units from the Anchorage Fire Department responded to the cedar-sided home. No one was in the house at the time flames started in a dining room wall, McMichael said. The fire's cause is unknown.

Firefighters battled the blaze for nearly four hours. Cold weather hampered efforts, freezing a hose and icing over road surfaces, McMichael said.

"It was really slow walking because you get water on top of the ice, so you can't move as quickly as you liked to," she said Thursday.

Red Cross responded and set the family up in a hotel, she said.

The fire was out by 7:30 p.m., but firefighters remained on scene until 9:30 p.m., cleaning up and loading about 3,200 feet of partially frozen hose onto the engines.

Reach Tegan Hanlon at or 257-4589.