Anchorage

Nobody hurt as home destroyed by fire in East Anchorage

A house in East Anchorage is a total loss after a fire early Thursday, but firefighters said nobody was injured in the intense blaze that caused a natural gas leak.

Anchorage Fire Department spokesman John See said a total of 13 fire units were sent to the blaze on the 3600 block of Young Street, near Lake Otis Parkway and 36th Avenue, after numerous citizen calls at about 5:30 a.m.

"The caller, who identified themselves as a neighbor, reported that the roof of the structure was on fire and it was spreading to a wooden fence along the north side of the single-family residence," See wrote. "(The caller) indicated that one resident lived in the structure but did not know if there were person(s) still inside the building."

The fully engulfed house sent up a plume of smoke, readily visible in much of the U-Med district during the predawn hours Thursday.

"The structure is, for all intents and purposes, a total loss," See said.

See said the intense fire vented through the home's roof and damaged nearby property.

"One of the neighbors had a camper and a shed there that was damaged by the heat," See said. "They had a tarp on the camper -- the tarp melted and dripped down on the side of the camper."

See said crews were initially only able to access a covered garage at the home, with a full sweep of the residence for anyone inside not occurring until Enstar workers shut off natural gas.

The gas leak was linked to a burning line running behind the home to a gas-fired hot tub, according to See.

Firefighters were still trying to contact the home's residents Thursday afternoon. There wasn't any word on the fire's cause Thursday.

Next-door neighbor Karolyn Anders said she had been worried the fire would spread to her own house, just 10 feet from the burning home.

"We're so lucky that a lot of people woke up and called the fire department, because there's no way I'd have woken up," she said.

(Video courtesy Jason Carlough via Facebook)

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