A firefighter readies to spray flames underneath The Gym, a Glacier Avenue gym, Monday, April 22, 2019. (Ben Hohenstatt |Juneau Empire)

A firefighter readies to spray flames underneath The Gym, a Glacier Avenue gym, Monday, April 22, 2019. (Ben Hohenstatt |Juneau Empire)

Authorities investigating lead on suspicious fire

Video shows man near scene of Glacier Avenue blaze

More than three weeks after a suspicious fire, authorities appear to have a lead.

Capital City Fire/Rescue Fire Marshal Dan Jager said recently that CCFR and the Juneau Police Department are carefully examining the circumstances around the April 22 fire that ignited in the Glacier Avenue building that houses The Gym and J&J Deli-Mart.

“We are working with JPD to try and identify a suspect that was on video just prior to the fire, possibly involved in igniting the fire and fleeing the scene,” Jager said via email.

JPD Public Safety Manager Erann Kalwara said Thursday that they do have video of a person in the area, but are not far enough into the investigation to release details about the person or the video.

She said that after the fatal stabbing that happened May 2, JPD re-routed some of its resources to investigating that incident.

[Juneau man pleads not guilty to murder]

The Glacier Avenue fire began around 9 a.m. on April 22. It appeared to begin in a storage space that is used to house salt and ice melt, the building’s co-owner Steve Lewis told the Empire at the time.

Alaska Electric Light and Power workers who were passing by the area stopped to keep the fire at bay, according to the Empire’s report at the time. One of the AEL&P employees, Evan Bixby, told the Empire that he “heard and felt a big pop” as they were driving by. Their truck was equipped with fire extinguishers, so they were well prepared to help out.

Power was cut to the building for a few hours, but both The Gym and J&J Deli-Mart were open for business the next day.

Anyone with information can call JPD at 586-0600 or submit an anonymous tip at JuneauCrimeLine.com.


• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at amccarthy@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.


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