CCFR on scene at the fire Tuesday afternoon

CCFR on scene at the fire Tuesday afternoon

Flames ruin downtown Douglas shed, boat

A scorched metal frame is all that remains of a downtown Douglas shed after it was engulfed by flames Tuesday afternoon.

Homeowner Eleanor Laurent said the now-destroyed shed her husband built last winter contained several valuables. But none of that crossed her mind when she and her 11-year-old daughter saw black smoke and red flames outside their home.

“The flames were coming out the doors and windows of the shed,” Laurent said while standing on her driveway, 20 feet away from firefighters who continued to cleanup the area. Laurent’s husband Jim called the fire station at approximately 2 p.m. and instructed his family to stay safely away from the house, Laurent said.

Two fire engines and volunteers from the Douglas and Juneau stations were on the scene — 510 Summers St., near Fifth Street, a block north of the Treadwell Ice Arena — shortly afterward and were able to quickly put the fire out without any complications, Deputy Fire Marshal Sven Pearson said on the scene. The fire’s cause is still unknown.

Laurent said while she, her daughter and their pet dog stood on the street away from the fire, her husband stood guard with a hose between the shed and their home, trying to keep the flames from destroying more than the shed and a boat parked beside it.

“God bless my husband,” Laurent said. “He was doing what needed to be done — probably saved the house.”

The couple’s 19-foot-long boat was also considered a total loss. An estimated cost of damage was not immediately released. Laurent was pacing on the phone talking to her insurance provider, still trying to wrap her mind around the event. She said it all went by quickly while also seeming to take forever. Thankfully, her neighbors were there for her, too, she said.

“One of the reasons we love Douglas is everybody we know on the street, and people we don’t know came at once to see what they could do to help,” Laurent said.

Neighbors were also helping people in nearby houses who had evacuated their homes voluntarily for fear the flames could spread. Neighbor Susan Williams said she invited a woman and her baby into her home until the flames were out.

No injuries were reported.

• Contact reporter Paula Ann Solis at 523-2272 or paula.solis@juneauempire.com.

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