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Fire destroys mobile home north of Wasilla; explosions reported

Devin Kelly

A fire destroyed a mobile home in a small neighborhood north of Wasilla on Friday morning following reports of explosions, officials said.

No one was reported injured in the blaze, which broke out just before 8 a.m. in the 3500 block of Woodruff Loop, north of Wasilla Fishhook Road, said Clint Vardeman, deputy director of Mat-Su Borough Department of Emergency Services.

The fire was declared under control about 9:40 a.m. and crews were still on scene in late morning, Vardeman said. He said the home is considered to be a total loss, and property tax records show an assessed value of $46,700.

Two adults and one child have been displaced and the Red Cross was responding, Vardeman said.

Someone called 911 to first report the fire at 7:51 a.m., saying the flames began behind the mobile home. A second call followed reporting explosions and a mobile home burning, Vardeman said.

By 8:01 a.m., firefighters from Mat-Su emergency services were on scene.

Rescuers responded from Palmer, West Lakes and Central, and included three engines, five tankers and two ambulances. The state Division of Forestry also responded to contain a small wildland fire, which burned about a tenth of an acre, Vardeman said.

With winds of about 10 mph and dry conditions, there was "real concern" the fire could have spread, Vardeman said.

The property had several other buildings, vehicles and propane tanks on it, Vardeman said. The propane tanks were exposed but did not explode, he said.

Alaska State Troopers at the scene reported hearing "a couple of pops and small explosions consistent with ammunition or propane tanks," said Megan Peters, troopers spokeswoman.

Both Vardeman and Peters said it was not clear what caused the explosions.

"The home was powered by generators and heated with propane heaters," Peters said in a follow-up email. "While the cause is unknown, the set-up there wasn't the safest set-up for heating and providing power to a home."

The state fire marshal will be investigating, Peters said.

Reach Devin Kelly at dkelly@adn.com or 257-4314.


By DEVIN KELLY
dkelly@adn.com