Capital City Fire/Rescue cleans up after fighting a fire at 526 Seward Street, next to the Terry Miller Legislative Building, on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Capital City Fire/Rescue cleans up after fighting a fire at 526 Seward Street, next to the Terry Miller Legislative Building, on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Cause of fatal fire still undetermined after investigation

After almost three months of investigation, the cause of a fatal fire in September is still undetermined.

Capital City Fire/Rescue announced Tuesday that the investigation into the Sept. 17 fire that killed two brothers in a historic downtown building is closed. The investigation involved the CCFR Fire Marshal’s Office, the Juneau Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (ATF), and determined that the fire began on the back deck on the second story.

The cause of the fire, according to the CCFR release, could not be determined, citing “insufficient evidence.” The ATF lab in Maryland analyzed multiple electrical components, and lab experts couldn’t figure out whether there was an electrical failure or malfunction that could have caused the fire.

Special Agent Dawn Dodsworth from the Seattle ATF office reviewed photographs and interviews from police and fire personnel, according to the release, and was also unable to determine a cause of the fire.

The blaze claimed the lives of brothers 34-year-old “Wilfrido” Luis Román Olivarría Mora and 21-year-old Adrian de Jesus Olivarria Mora. A GoFundMe account created to raise money to send the brothers’ bodies back to their home in Mexico raised more than $5,000 (the account is no longer active, as it reached its fundraising goal). There were five survivors of the fire, with three being taken to the hospital and two escaping unharmed. Four firefighters were also sent to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

The blaze was reported at 4:14 a.m. on Sept. 17, when a man called dispatchers and said his home was on fire. The building, used as a bed and breakfast-style lodging called The Dining Inn, is listed in Juneau’s registry of historic buildings as being built in 1910.

It was the first fatal fire in Juneau since August 2014, Fire Marshal Dan Jager said in September, when 56-year-old Juneau grandmother Doris Emanoff died in a mobile home blaze on Lemon Creek Road.


• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or alex.mccarthy@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.


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