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Updates overnight: Fairbanks structure fire extinguished, investigation ongoing

Multiple fire departments were called to the scene of a structure fire Monday afternoon,...
Multiple fire departments were called to the scene of a structure fire Monday afternoon, located in a building owned by C & R Pipe on Alta Way, near South Cushman Street in Fairbanks. This is a photo of what remains of the building after fire crews finished putting out the blaze.(John Dougherty/KTVF)
Published: May. 4, 2021 at 5:24 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Multiple fire departments were called to the scene of a structure fire Monday afternoon, located in a building owned by C & R Pipe on Alta Way, near South Cushman Street in Fairbanks.

According to an official press release from the City of Fairbanks, crews were initially called to the scene around 3:30 p.m. Fairbanks Fire Department (FFD) was dispatched and arrived on scene within six minutes. Mutual aid agencies including University Fire, Ft. Wainwright Fire Department, Chena Goldstream, and Steese Fire all responded.

The release went on to add that when fire crews arrived, employees of C&R were attempting to knock down the fire with fire extinguishers, but the fire quickly worked its way into the ceiling and spread throughout the building. The building did not have a sprinkler system, and the construction of the building, as well as highly flammable materials on site, contributed to the fast spread of the fire. C&R employees were safely able to save several pieces of equipment from the building before the fire spread too far.

While battling the blaze over 1600 feet of hose had to be laid in order to reach the nearest hydrant, which was over a quarter of a mile away. Water tenders were also called upon to bring water in from outside sources. The City Public Works Department, law enforcement and Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) also responded to secure streets and traffic as well as power.

Two FFD firefighters sustained minor injuries during this event. They were checked out at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and are expected to recover quickly. The fire was out at approximately 8:00 p.m. and crews stayed on scene to take care of hot spots. The last unit left the scene at 10:22 p.m.

The City of Fairbanks would like to thank the public for avoiding the area and following the instructions of law enforcement officers directing traffic. Driving over a fire hose during a fire event is not only illegal it can cause harm to the hoses and detrimentally affect the fire crews’ ability to fight the fire.

The release added, “Thank you, University Fire Department, Ft. Wainwright Fire Department, Steese Fire Department, and Chena Goldstream Fire Department for your assistance fighting this fire. Thank you also to Fairbanks Police Department, Alaska State Troopers, City Public Works, GVEA and Red Cross for responding. Lastly, a big thank you to Fairbanks Emergency Communication Center for dispatching for most of these agencies during this large event.”

An investigation into the cause of this fire is being conducted, and anyone with information should contact FFD Deputy Fire Marshal Moira Townsend at 907-450-6614 or mtownsend@fairbanks.us.

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