One person died earlier this week in a house fire in Anchorage’s Abbott Loop neighborhood, officials said, citing an obstructed dryer vent as the likely cause.
Numerous people called 911 on Tuesday morning to report smoke, and firefighters were directed to a home near Elmore Road and Coventry Drive, said Assistant Fire Chief Alex Boyd. Firefighters arrived at the house around 9:45 a.m. and found flames pouring from the back of the building, the Anchorage Fire Department said in a statement.
Crews searched for occupants as they began to suppress the fire, the department said. One person was found inside and rescued from the building at 9:52 a.m., according to fire officials, and that person was brought to a hospital, where they were pronounced dead.
Investigators determined the fire was likely caused by an obstructed vent on a clothes dryer, according to the fire department. Lint and debris from the dryer contributed to the ignition of the fire, the department said.
There were limited smoke alarms in the home and officials are trying to determine if the alarms were working when the fire occurred, the department said.
The building is heavily damaged by smoke and fire, Boyd said.
Four people have died in fires so far in 2023, and another person died in a fire just hours before the start of the year.
“We’ve had five (fatalities) really close together and this is more than we normally have by this time of year,” Boyd said.
There isn’t one specific cause behind the fires, Boyd said.
On New Year’s Eve, improperly handled or disposed of smoking materials caused a deadly fire in South Anchorage. Just hours later, a person was seriously wounded in a separate fire in East Anchorage that they intentionally set, but that was not criminal. Boyd said that person later died from injuries sustained during the blaze.
Two people died in early February after their trailer caught fire on Anchorage’s Lower Hillside, Boyd said. The fire was believed to be caused by a space heater situated too close to combustibles, he said.
Working fire alarms are essential, Boyd said, for early notification about a fire. They also allow occupants to get outside before a building becomes enveloped in fire and they’re unable to escape.