A fire hose lies along an uphill driveway to a residence in the 15000 block of Glacier Highway that caught fire early Thursday morning. Firefighters were forced to pull the hose about 100 yards up the driveway to the home because the fire truck was unable to access it due to slippery conditions. (Photo by Capital City Fire/Rescue)

A fire hose lies along an uphill driveway to a residence in the 15000 block of Glacier Highway that caught fire early Thursday morning. Firefighters were forced to pull the hose about 100 yards up the driveway to the home because the fire truck was unable to access it due to slippery conditions. (Photo by Capital City Fire/Rescue)

Fire damages front of home near Auke Village Recreation Area

All occupants escape house unharmed, slippery driveway complicates firefighters’ efforts

A fire damaged much of the front exterior of a house near the Auke Village Recreation Area early Thursday morning, but the three people and two dogs inside escaped without injury, according to Capital City Fire/Rescue.

The fire department was notified of the fire in the 15000 block of Glacier Highway at about 3:30 a.m., said Assistant Fire Chief Sam Russell. It took firefighters about 10 to 15 minutes to reach the scene due to snowy and icy road conditions, but they were able to put out the fire before it caused significant interior damage.

“It went across maybe two-thirds of the front and broke out two windows to the interior, but the fire didn’t actually really extend into the interior,” he said, adding the fire department concluded its work at the scene at about 5:15 a.m.

There were three people and two dogs inside the house when the fire occurred, Russell said.

“The dogs alerted them to the fire,” he said. “And then the smoke detector went off, and then they went out the back door and everybody was fine.”

The cause of the fire remains under investigation and damage to the structure is still being assessed, including determining if the people living there can return safely.

“They’re going to take a good look at it in the light and see what they can do,” Russell said. “The Red Cross helped them out (during the night) with some services to make sure that they were covered.”

A slippery uphill driveway made responding to the incident more difficult for firefighters, who dragged a fire hose about 100 from a truck to the house to put the flames out, Russell said.

“Last night we had fresh snow on top of packed snow and that just makes it extra slippery,” he said. “Normally we don’t have any problem even in the wintertime — we’ll just put on chains and whatnot. It just happened to be the conditions last night.”

• Contact Mark Sabbatini at mark.sabbatini@juneauempire.com or (907) 957-2306.

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