Authorities are investigating a fire that appears to have been set intentionally Monday night.
At about 6:30 p.m. Monday, Capital City Fire/Rescue personnel were called to a gravel pit at the end of Valley Boulevard in the Mendenhall Valley for a reported fire, according to a CCFR Facebook post. When they arrived, responders found two shipping containers on fire. They quickly put out the fire, according to the post.
The fire appears to have been set intentionally, according to the post. CCFR Fire Marshal Dan Jager said in an email to the Empire that his office came to the conclusion that this was an intentional fire because there was no heat source near the storage containers.
“There was no electricity to the containers,” Jager said. “There were no heaters being used inside of the containers. There was no reason for a fire to have started inside the containers. There were juveniles running away from the area prior to fire personnel arriving.”
Jager said adult witnesses saw the youngsters fleeing the area, and it’s unknown whether the kids were running away from the fire or just running around in general. The fire Monday was similar to another fire near that same gravel lot that happened on Sunday.
The fires Monday caused an estimated $6,000 in damage, fire officials say. The earlier, similar fire caused an estimated $3,000 in damage. Those costs are the combined damage and clean-up costs, Jager said. Jager said the containers and property within were not insured.
The Juneau Police Department is helping with the investigation, Jager said. JPD Lt. Krag Campbell said Tuesday that as of about 4 p.m., there wasn’t any update in the investigation.
JPD and CCFR teamed up earlier this spring to investigate a fire at The Gym on Glacier Avenue. Authorities have told the Empire that there’s a suspect on camera in that case, but no arrests have been announced yet. There was also a string of unsolved arsons in the Mendenhall Valley in summer 2018.
Anybody with information about any of the suspicious fires is asked to call Fire Marshal Dan Jager at 586-0260.
• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.