Charring and other damage is visible on a downtown residence burned in a fire early Sunday morning, Nov. 15, 2020. No one was injured, but Capital City Fire/Rescue assessed the damage at roughly $100,000. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Electrical issues likely sparked residential fire Sunday, CCFR says

No injuries occured, but the house was badly damaged.

Capital City Fire/Rescue confirmed in a social media post that an electrical fault or appliance failure caused a house fire early Sunday morning.

“(We got a) report of smoke coming out of the house. It’s a two-and-a-half story house,” said CCFR assistant fire chief Ed Quinto in a phone interview. “There’s also an apartment on the backside. The occupants were home and got woken up by the smoke detector, fortunately.”

The call came in at roughly 3:30 a.m. on the morning of Sunday, Nov. 15. The residence is locate across from Juneau-Douglas Yadaa.at Kalé High School.

“The fire marshal conducted a fire origin and cause investigation,” wrote CCFR fire marshal Dan Jager in the Facebook post. “It is determined the cause of this fire is electrical in nature either due to overloaded electrical circuits or a failure of an appliance.”

The house’s construction made for a longer-than-normal process of extinguishing the fire, Quinto said.

[Firefighters extinguish late-evening downtown vehicle blaze]

“It took us a while to put the fire out. It was embedded pretty deep. The fire went from the first floor. There’s a lot of smoke and fire damage,” Quinto said. “That house had gone through multiple remodelings. There were some spaces we had to check out. Usually we do a quick knockdown. We had to chase it around (this time).”

While the home is insured, the damage is deep and substantial.

“The house fire is still an open case. We’re still narrowing it down on that,” Jager said in a phone interview. “I talked to the owner today and he’s estimating that damage at half a million.”

“CCFR would like to caution residents in the use of multi plug adapters. While most are listed and approved devices that allow a standard two plug receptacle to accommodate multiple receptacles, you must be aware of not only what appliances are plugged in but the total number of watts being drawn by those appliances,” Jager said. “If the watts are more than the circuit can accommodate, then breaker switches may trip or there may be a failure in an appliance or its wiring.”

For Quinto, it reinforces lessons that should be remembered every winter as the rate of house fires increases with increased use of heating systems and wood stoves.

Make sure your smoke detectors are working,” Quinto said. “And make sure you have a second means of egress.”

Familiarity and a forward plan can be a livesaver in the case of a fire. Heavy smoke, lack of oxygen and disorientation can throw you off your stride in a house you’ve lived in for years, Jager said. A plan and a smoke detector can make all the difference.

“The occupants were alerted when their smoke alarms went off,” Jager said. “The occupants were on the second floor. When they opened their door, they were hit with thick, dark smoke. Who knows how it could have gone if they didn’t have a smoke alarm.”

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of Feb. 26

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Monday, Feb. 26, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Former state labor commissioner Ed Flanagan, State Rep. Genevieve Mina, D-Anchorage, and the Rev. Michael Burke of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Anchorage wheel boxes of signed petitions into a state Division of Elections office on Jan. 9. The petitions were for a ballot initiative to increase the state’s minimum wage, mandate paid sick leave and ensure that workers are not required to hear employers’ political or religious messages. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Minimum wage increase, ranked choice repeal have enough signatures to be on ballot

A pair of ballot measures have enough public support to appear on… Continue reading

State senators meet with members of the media at the Alaska State Capitol to discuss education legislation after a press conference by Gov. Mike Dunleavy on the topic on Tuesday. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
Dunleavy threatens veto of education bill if more of his priorities aren’t added

It is not certain there would be the 40 votes necessary to override a veto by the governor

Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire
Nanibaa’ Frommherz, a student at Thunder Mountain High School, testifies about a proposal to help the Juneau School District with its financial crisis during a Juneau Assembly Committee of the Whole meeting Monday night at City Hall. The meeting was moved from the Assembly Chambers to a conference room toward the end due to technical errors that disrupted the live online feed.
Little public reaction to city’s bailout of school district this year, but big questions beyond loom

Only two people testify Monday about proposed $4.1M loan and taking over $3.9 in “shared costs.”

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Mauka Grunenberg looks at live oysters for sale on Aug. 29, 2022, at Sagaya City Market in Anchorage. The oysters came from a farm in Juneau. Oysters, blue mussels and sugar, bull and ribbon kelp are the main products of an Alaska mariculture industry that has expanded greatly in recent years. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska’s mariculture industry expands, with big production increases in recent years, report says

While Alaska’s mariculture industry is small by global standards, production of farmed… Continue reading

U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola (center) walks with Alaska Rep. Will Stapp, R-Fairbanks, and Alaska Sen. Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, into the Alaska House of Representatives chambers ahead of her annual address to the Alaska Legislature on Monday. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
Peltola celebrates federal intervention in Albertsons, Kroger merger in legislative address

Congresswoman says wins for Alaska’s fisheries and state’s economy occurring through collaboration.

Sen. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer, speaks in support of Senate concurrence on a version of an education bill passed by the Alaska House last week during a Senate floor discussion on Monday. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Senate concurs on House education bill, Dunleavy is skeptical

Dunleavy schedules press conference Tuesday afternoon in Anchorage to discuss the legislation.

Most Read