South Anchorage vehicle fire spreads to apartments, displacing 16

More than a dozen people were displaced by a fire Monday evening in Independence Park after flames from a burning vehicle spread to an apartment building.

Anchorage Fire Department dispatchers said Tuesday that 13 units responded just after 8 p.m. Monday to the blaze on the 1800 block of Elcadore Drive, near Seward Highway and O'Malley Road. The fire was brought under control about half an hour later.

The vehicle in which the fire began had been parked about 3 feet from the building beneath an overhang, according to fire department spokesman John See.

"The report initially to dispatch was that it was a vehicle fire," See said. "By the time firefighters had arrived, the structure had caught on fire."

While firefighters haven't conclusively identified the fire's cause, See said the vehicle that burned -- a 2002 Buick Regal sedan -- was one of 1.4 million GM vehicles recalled in October due to oil dripping onto hot engine components and starting fires. He said the Regal's owner, one of the building's residents, had received a recall notice but hadn't yet acted on it.

No injuries were reported in the fire, but See didn't have word on when residents might return home. The Buick was a total loss, See said, with the apartment complex suffering about $100,000 in damage.

"It looks like it was almost entirely limited to the exterior of the building," See said.

The Red Cross of Alaska said on its Facebook page that it was assisting the 16 displaced people.

Chris Klint

Chris Klint is a former ADN reporter who covered breaking news.