1 person dead in fire at Midtown Anchorage fourplex

One person died early Wednesday in a fire at a Midtown fourplex, the Anchorage Fire Department said.

Firefighters were called to the 300 block of East 48th Avenue, near Cordova Street, at 4:13 a.m. and arrived about four minutes later, the department said in a statement. Two of the units were already on fire and crews worked to knock down the flames enough so they could enter, the department said.

Once firefighters made it inside the building, they found one person dead in the ground-level unit where the blaze began, said Assistant Chief Alex Boyd.

An investigation was ongoing to determine exactly where in that unit the fire started and what caused it, the department said. There were no working smoke alarms in the unit, the fire department said.

“Investigators believe that the lack of working smoke alarms in that unit may have contributed to the severity of this fire by allowing it to grow unchecked,” the department said.

The resident living in the unit above where the fire started was alerted by their smoke alarms and helped evacuate other units in the building, according to the fire department. They tried to extinguish the fire in the first unit, but it had grown too quickly, the department said.

Four people lived in the building and one resident was not home when the fire started, Boyd said. The American Red Cross of Alaska was helping residents find housing after the fire, Boyd said.


The fire department said the identity of the person who died won’t be released until next of kin have been notified.

Firefighters remained on scene Wednesday morning. Seen from the street, the left half of the fourplex was charred by the flames. Boyd described the building as heavily damaged and said that two units were a total loss.

Wednesday’s fatality represents the eighth person to die in a fire in Anchorage so far this year.

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