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Alaska Beat

Two children identified as suspects in Teller fire

  • Author: Craig Medred
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published August 2, 2012

On July 12, a fire in Teller, Alaska, burned down four buildings and threatened many more. Now police have identified a pair of suspects, both minors, the Nome Nugget reports.

Villagers have made unconfirmed reports that the children were playing in one of the buildings with cigarette lighters before the fire started. Troopers say the fire began in the second floor of the former village store, Teller Commerical Co. It moved into two adjoining buildings used for storage by the Blodgett family, which owns the four buildings that burned. The last building to burn down contained the offices of Mary's Igloo Traditional Council.

Firefighters and volunteers contained the fire with the help of seawater. A loader purchased in 2007 that was used to move potential tinder was lost when it became stuck in a utility recess and caught fire. Its fuel exploded.

Spared from the fire were the Alaska Village Electric Co-op power plant, the Teller Catholic Church across the street, and a new clinic. No injuries were reported.

The charred building debris was still taped off earlier this week. The state fire marshal's staff continued its investigation.

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