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Homeowner found dead after South Anchorage fire formerly ran village preschool

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: April 11
  • Published April 11

Fire investigators on scene of a fatal early morning fire that destroyed a home near Sand Lake and claimed the life of one person on Sunday, April 7, 2019. (Bill Roth / ADN)

The person found dead after a house fire in South Anchorage over the weekend had formerly run a village preschool, according to state business records.

Katherine Schmidt, 47, had owned the house on the 5000 block of Strawberry Drive in the Sand Lake neighborhood for nearly three years when it was destroyed in an early morning fire Sunday, according to property records.

Schmidt had formerly worked as treasurer and vice president for the Ninilchik Community Preschool starting in 2010, according to the preschool’s business license.

The State Medical Examiner Office will determine what caused Schmidt’s death, police said in a Thursday alert. Her family has been notified.

Schmidt’s one-story home was already engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived just after 2 a.m. Sunday, with flames showing through the roof and coming out windows, police said previously. Fire crews managed to bring the fire under control by 2:55 a.m.

Anchorage Fire Marshal Cleo Hill said Wednesday that investigators were still working to determine the cause of the fire.

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