Capital City Fire/Rescue personnel attend to a fire found at an apartment on Channel Drive on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Capital City Fire/Rescue personnel attend to a fire found at an apartment on Channel Drive on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Juneau fire chief helps put out blaze with garden hose

Nobody injured during apartment fire

Fortunately for the residents of a Channel Drive apartment building, Capital City Fire/Rescue Chief Rich Etheridge happened to be driving by just as a fire was starting in the building.

Etheridge was driving inbound on Egan Drive around noon Thursday when he saw dark smoke coming from the building 2685 Channel Drive, he told the Empire. The building is located next to a work site, and Etheridge said it’s normal to see smoke from the area.

“We typically see smoke from their incinerator and heavy equipment operating, it just looked different from normal,” Etheridge said in an interview.

[Fire department gets funding for another ambulance crew]

Etheridge turned his car around and went to the scene, where he saw heavy black smoke coming from an upstairs apartment. Someone on scene had just called 911 and emergency vehicles were starting to head to the scene. When Etheridge went up to the apartment, one of the building owners was trying to put the fire out with a garden hose.

“I took the garden hose from the homeowner, punched part of a window out and tried to keep it in check while everybody was showing up,” Etheridge said.

Nobody was injured, Etheridge said. Someone was home at the time in the one-bedroom apartment where the fire started, CCFR Assistant Chief Ed Quinto said on scene. As of 12:45 p.m., Fire Marshal Dan Jager had just shown up and was investigating the fire, and a cause had not been identified. Etheridge wasn’t sure if the building was insured.

At least two fire trucks and four ambulances came to the scene, in addition to four other vehicles carrying police chiefs and Jager. Etheridge, Quinto, and Assistant Chiefs Chad Cameron and Tod Chambers all ended up on scene at different times.

[Raze or rebuild? Downtown house fire fallout still not settled]

Etheridge said they always try to send as many vehicles as they can to commercial areas because they tend to have more square footage than a house, and fires can spread rapidly. With the location being about midway between the downtown station and the station in the Mendenhall Valley, vehicles from both stations were there.

A broken window at a Channel Drive apartment is pictured on Thursday. Capital City Fire/Rescue Chief Rich Etheridge helped put out the fire by breaking the window and spraying a garden hose inside. (Courtesy photo | Capital City Fire/Rescue)

A broken window at a Channel Drive apartment is pictured on Thursday. Capital City Fire/Rescue Chief Rich Etheridge helped put out the fire by breaking the window and spraying a garden hose inside. (Courtesy photo | Capital City Fire/Rescue)

Quinto joked that Etheridge was probably on his way to lunch at the time, but said it was extremely fortuitous that he happened to be there right then.

“If it wasn’t for putting the fire out quickly, it could have been worse,” Quinto said. “The building is made out of wood. It could have spread quickly. We’re fortunate he was here quickly and put the fire out pretty fast.”


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


More in News

A Princess Cruise Line ship is docked in Juneau on Aug. 25, 2021. (Michael Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Ships in Port for the week of May 22, 2022

Here’s what to expect this week.

Coast Guard aircrews medevaced two people from Dry Bay Airstrip, approximately 30 miles Southeast of Yakutat, Alaska, after their plane crashed, May 25, 2022. (Courtesy photo / Coast Guard District 17)
Three medevaced after plane crash near Yakutat

All four aboard were injured, three critically so.

The author’s appreciation for steelhead has turned into something like reverence considering what’s happening to populations in the Lower 48 and Canada. (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)
I Went to the Woods: Silent steel

“You forget most of what ends up in the freezer, but those steelhead, they stick with you.”

Senate President Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, seen here in this June 16, 2021, file photo, announced Wednesday he will not seek relelection in the Alaska State Senate, where he has served since 2013. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Senate president says he won’t run again

“Honor and a privilege.”

Hoonah’s Alaska Youth Stewards helped make improvements to Moby and water the plants in summer 2021. (Courtesy Photo / Jillian Schuyler)
Resilient Peoples & Place: Moby the Mobile Greenhouse cultivates community

It presents opportunities to grow food knowledge and skills.

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Thursday, May 26, 2022

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

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Alaska Supreme Court orders use of interim map for elections

The decision came just over a week before the June 1 filing deadline for the August primaries.

A male red-winged blackbird displays his showy red patches and calls to a rival male (Gina Vose photo)
On the Trails: Birds and beetles at Kingfisher Pond

Something is almost always happening at Kingfisher Pond.

Most Read