One person died and several were injured in a fourplex fire in Mountain View early Friday, the Anchorage Fire Department said.
The fatal blaze was one of four Anchorage residential structure fires in the past two days.
An investigator at the scene on the 400 block of North Flower Street said a husband and wife lived in a lower unit where the fire started. One died and the other was injured, according to fire investigator Brian Dean.
Several other residents were taken to a hospital with injuries Dean described as minor.
Investigators have not determined the cause of the blaze, which damaged other units in the building.
The two-alarm fire was reported just before 3 a.m., according to Assistant Chief Alex Boyd. A 911 caller reported smoke and flames visible from the bottom floor of the two-story fourplex.
Anchorage Police Department officers got to the scene first and reported that an occupant was trapped in the unit where the fire started, according to a fire department release. Fire department crews got to the scene within four minutes of the 911 call and found "heavy fire showing from the bottom floor."
They called for more units, Boyd said. A total of 20 responded including fire apparatus, command and support vehicles and additional ambulances.
Firefighters knew that, given the early hour, more people might be trapped inside, Boyd said. They started suppressing the fire so they could rescue the occupant reported trapped inside and look for any other victims.
Crews found the trapped man dead inside, the fire department said. Ambulances took four other occupants to hospitals, three in stable condition and one in serious condition.
The fire was declared under control by 3:46 a.m., officials say. The Red Cross was asked to help with displaced residents.
Ben Kiggins, who said he is the grandson of the fourplex's owner, said his uncle died in the fire. Kiggins said his uncle's wife was severely injured.
Kiggins declined to share the couple's names. He said the uncle who died was in his late 50s.
The fire started on the bottom floor where the couple lived, said Kiggins, who had come to assess the damage Friday morning after daybreak.
Flames appeared to have shot outside the window, torching the eaves of the two-story complex, he said.
"It sucks," said Kiggins, standing outside the charred building with his wife, Lura Kiggins.
The blaze chewed a gaping hole in the roof. No one was living in the upstairs unit above his family, Ben Kiggins said.
The damage from the flames appeared to be contained to one side of the building.
Kiggins said two families lived in units on the other side. They were taken to a hospital and appeared to be OK after getting checked out. They would be staying at a hotel.
Kiggins said his uncle was a heavy smoker.
AFD investigator Dean said one question in the investigation involved whether all smoke alarms functioned properly.
When a sleeping adult doesn't hear a smoke alarm in time to reach safety, that raises questions about whether the alarms worked properly, he said.
"Sometimes kids don't hear them, but adults typically do," said Dean.
"This is a good reminder to check your smoke detectors," he said.
The fourplex fire was one of three reported Friday morning.
Another occurred just before 6 a.m. on the 5400 block of Mockingbird Drive, near Dowling Road and the Seward Highway. A 911 caller activated a fire alarm in a five-story apartment complex, according to the fire department.
The caller reported heavy smoke on the second floor. Residents evacuated but crews found no active fire, though they did smell burning food on that floor. Eleven units responded.
The third fire was reported at 9:12 a.m. on the 7600 block of Duben Avenue in Muldoon, where flames in the kitchen of a unit in a two-story duplex was quickly suppressed, Boyd said. The Red Cross was also called in to help residents. Nine units responded.
[10 residents displaced by apartment fire in Midtown Anchorage]
A fire Thursday morning injured one resident of a Midtown apartment complex and displaced as many as 10 residents. No cause had been established, according to the fire department.