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Rural Alaska

Volunteers rushed to help fight building fire at Dillingham boat harbor

  • Author: Avery Lill, KDLG
  • Updated: July 29, 2018
  • Published July 29, 2018

People watch a fire near the Dillingham harbor on Friday, July 27, 2018. (Avery Lill / KDLG)

DILLINGHAM — No injuries nor damage to boats was reported after a building caught fire in the boat harbor Friday.

The Dillingham Fire Department rushed to the scene around 9 p.m.

"Initial report was a mattress that was on fire is what got paged out. After that I don't know exactly what the second flame up was or where the extension happened from," said fire coordinator Braden Tinker.

The wood and aluminum building used to be a fish plant and is now mostly filled with material from the old Queen Cannery. The city repossessed the property from its previous owner, who owed back taxes.

Firefighters prepare their gear before putting out hot spots as a fire in a storage building near Dillingham’s harbor dies down Friday night. (Austin Fast / KDLG)

"Mostly just storage in here right now — old wood, boxes, mattress, on and on," explained harbor master Jean Barrett. "There's foam in there. There's plywood. There's some motors in there that really don't have any oil or anything in them. No liquid combustibles anyhow. There's still a lot of combustible material in the wood and such."

Barrett added that the city hopes to bulldoze what is left of the building when time and money allow.

Volunteers fought the flames. A handful of men stood on a shipping container and soaked the building and surrounding area from above. Others in fire safety gear and respirators entered the burning building to fight the flames from the inside.

Volunteers rushed to assist in fighting a building fire in Dillingham. (Austin Fast / KDLG)

At 10:30 p.m. Tinker said that the fire was under control, but that it was "far from being out," and he estimated it would take the volunteer fire department at least three hours to extinguish the flames.

The exact cause of the fire was not immediately known.

"There's no electricity in here. There's no fuel we know of. Somebody being in there that shouldn't be in there probably started this fire," said Barrett.

This article was originally published at and is republished here with permission.

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