1 dead, another injured in 2 weekend house fires in Anchorage

Two house fires occurred over the weekend in Anchorage, leaving one person dead and another seriously wounded, fire officials said.

Firefighters were called to the 1900 block of Olympic Drive around 10:45 p.m. New Year’s Eve and found the home half-involved in flames, the Anchorage Fire Department said in a statement. One resident was reported missing, and firefighters searched areas of the South Anchorage home that were not yet ablaze but could not find the person, the department said.

The blaze was controlled in less than a half-hour, the fire department said, and the missing resident was found dead inside the home. Officials have not publicly identified the resident because they are working to notify the family.

The fire was likely caused by improperly handled or disposed-of smoking material, Assistant Fire Chief Alex Boyd said. Investigators did not find smoke detectors inside the home, which Boyd said may have prevented the resident from becoming aware of the fire with enough time to escape.

The house is a total loss and is partially collapsed, Boyd said.

On New Year’s Day, a resident reported to firefighters that smoke was coming from a home on the 1500 block of Ermine Street just before 11 p.m. and that glass could be heard breaking, the department said. Smoke was coming from the eaves when crews arrived.

Firefighters rescued one occupant of the East Anchorage residence around 11:15 p.m., the department said. They were brought to a hospital in critical condition, according to the department.


The fire is believed to have been intentionally set by the victim, but was not criminal, Boyd said.

The home has considerable smoke and fire damage, he said.

Five people died in Anchorage fires during 2022, according to data from the state.

“The last fire fatality of 2022 and the first fire serious injury of 2023 in the state of Alaska — it’s not a good way to end the year or start the year,” Boyd said. “We just ask that folks pay attention to fire safety ... ensure that you have working smoke alarms and exit drills within the home.”

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter focusing on breaking news and public safety. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota. Contact her at