This is a photo of a Capital City Fire/Rescue vehicle at the scene of a fire in June. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)

This is a photo of a Capital City Fire/Rescue vehicle at the scene of a fire in June. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)

Police investigate abandoned vehicle fire as arson

The possible intentional fire appears to be an isolated incident, fire marshal says.

A late evening vehicle fire in the Mendenhall Valley area last week is being investigated as a possible arson, Capital City Fire/Rescue Assistant Chief and Fire Marshal Dan Jager told the Empire.

“Some video footage showed it went from nothing to a very large flash — fires don’t just do a large flash — so there’s more to it than that,” he said. “It’s not typical fire behavior and with all those elements combined it’s being looked at as intentional.”

At about 9:21 p.m. Wednesday, CCFR responded to the vehicle fire in the area of Jennifer Drive to discover a Ford FE 350 XL Super Duty Van “fully involved with fire.”

According to Jager, the vehicle has been abandoned for “a long period of time” and was inoperable at the time the fire occurred.

Upon investigation, he said the nature and location of the burn patterns being near the rear of the van, and the extensive damage to the vehicle, ruled out the possibility the fire could have been ignited via an electrical or mechanical issue. He said he believes the fire is an isolated incident

“At this time I have no reason to believe there has been any other connections with any of the fires we’ve had, intentional or otherwise,” he said.

According to JPD spokesperson Eran Kalwara, the investigation is active and has since been transferred to a detective. The vehicle was impounded and taken to the JPD station, Jager said.

CCFR encourages anyone with information to contact Jager at 586-5322 ext. 4323.

• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at clarise.larson@juneauempire.com or (651)-528-1807.

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