Early morning Houston cabin fire kills 1 as responders contend with brutal cold

A man was found dead inside a collapsed cabin after an early morning fire was reported on a brutally cold Monday morning in the Mat-Su city of Houston.

The man, who has not been identified, was the only person found inside the home, according to Houston Fire Department chief Christian Hartley.

A small residential structure fully engulfed in flames was reported on King John Drive around 2:20 a.m. Monday by two neighbors, Hartley said in an interview Tuesday. Alaska State Troopers arrived about 5 minutes later and Houston fire and medics responded about 10 minutes after the first call. The temperature at the time was 29 below.

“The structure had already collapsed in on itself,” Hartley said. Responders found the man’s body inside.

Sixteen firefighters from Houston as well as the West Lakes and Willow fire departments responded, he said. One of Houston’s trucks had to be removed from service after the fire was brought under control due to a failure of the exhaust system in the extreme cold; it’s expected to be back in service Wednesday.

Deputy state fire marshals determined the fire originated from the living room area of the cabin, and multiple possible causes were identified, all accidental, troopers said in an update Tuesday. There is no suspicion of foul play at this time, they said.

The man’s remains were sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for positive identification.

-- Daily News reporter Tess Williams contributed.