Crime & Courts

Midtown Anchorage fire being investigated as an arson and homicide

Anchorage police reported Wednesday that a Midtown residential fire early Tuesday morning that killed one person is now being investigated as an arson and homicide.

Police and fire investigators determined the fire was intentionally set and the woman found inside the burned fourplex on the 900 block of West 23rd Avenue "is a homicide victim," the police department said in a statement.

The woman's cause of death is not being released due to the ongoing investigation, police said. Her name will be released once her family has been contacted about the death, they said.

Fifteen fire units responded and quickly extinguished the fire at the building, near Arctic Boulevard and Fireweed Lane, shortly after 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, the fire department said.

Fire Chief Dennis LeBlanc previously told Alaska Dispatch News the victim was discovered in a bedroom at the home.

Police spokeswoman Renee Oistad said an occupied vehicle was seen in the area around the time of the fire and provided surveillance footage of it.

Investigators are unsure of the vehicle's make and model, she said.

Anyone with information about the suspected arson is asked to contact police at 907-786-8900 or Anchorage Crime Stoppers at 907-561-STOP or its website.

Jerzy Shedlock

Jerzy Shedlock is a former reporter for Alaska Dispatch News. He left the ADN in 2017.