Juneau senator ends up in hospital after battling blaze in garage

Sen. Dennis Egan, D-Juneau

Sen. Dennis Egan, D-Juneau

One of Juneau’s most recognizable residents was taken to the hospital Friday night after attempting to put out a fire in his garage.

Sen. Dennis Egan, D-Juneau, was using a fire extinguisher to battle a small fire in his garage in the 3100 block of Pioneer Avenue in Douglas when fire officials arrived on the scene just before 10 p.m. Friday, Capital City Fire/Rescue Assistant Chief Tod Chambers said.

The senator, who turned 71 in March, was taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital for what Chambers called “minor smoke inhalation,” though Chambers said it took some convincing.

“He didn’t really want to go to the hospital,” Chambers said in an interview Saturday.

No other injuries were reported. Hospital spokesperson Katie Bausler said Saturday evening that no information was being released at the time about Egan’s condition. A phone call to Egan went unreturned.

Responders knocked down the fire and confined the damage to the garage, according to a statement from the CCFR Fire Marshal’s Office on Saturday. Fire marshals estimated the damage at about $15,000, and concluded that the source of the fire was an overloaded electrical circuit near a workbench.

“CCFR would like to remind everyone to use surge protectors, extension cords and electrical appliances with caution,” the statement from the fire marshals read. “Be aware of the electrical draw from appliances and to not overload circuits. Always ensure you have working smoke alarms. Early detection saves lives.”

Egan announced in February that he will not run for re-election this fall, though he will serve the rest of his term that ends in January 2019. Egan, who has had health problems through the years including multiple sclerosis and vertigo, told the Empire earlier this year that it’s tough to step away from the position, but that his health is a higher priority.

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

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