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Funny River home damaged in fire

Elizabeth Earl

No injuries were reported in the Friday-morning blaze.

A structure fire did extensive damage to a home in Funny River on Friday morning. The fire was reported to Central Emergency Services at 9:13 a.m. CES Deputy Fire Chief Dan Grimes said all units were in Soldotna for training at the time and had to make the 19-mile drive from town, instead of responding from the Funny River CES station.

But that meant there were extra personnel on hand, so CES was able to send a large response, including three fire engines, two ambulances, two tankers, a ladder truck and utility, squad and command vehicles.

“So we had no shortage of personnel and it took all of us, I would say, to mitigate that,” Grimes said.

It was a two-story house with a full basement off Moonshine Drive at the end of Funny River Road. All occupants were outside when CES arrived and no injuries were reported. Grimes says the main and second floors were in flames. Those floors were severely damaged but Grimes says he thinks items in the basement looked salvageable. Firefighters were able to keep the fire from spreading to a two-story garage with living quarters next to the home.

The cause of the fire is under investigation but Grimes says it was reported as a chimney fire that spread to the roof. He says it's still important to keep chimneys clean.

“I’ve lived in Alaska too long to tell you it’s not going to freeze again this year until fall. So people are certainly still burning wood at this time of year,” Grimes said. “And people should just continue to do what they do to make sure that their chimneys are regularly brushed out and cleaned out. It’s a really important thing to keep those chimneys from clogging up with creosote and building up a lot of that.”

With the snow melting, recent windy conditions and nothing greened up yet, there’s also a high risk of even small fires turning into wildland fires.

“We’re hoping that people pay attention to those high-wind days and be very careful when they’re trying to light any sort of outside fire,” Grimes said.

And one more quick spring reminder — lake ice is quickly melting. Grimes reminds anyone thinking about going ice fishing, skating, skiing or otherwise being on ice to exercise extreme caution.

Jenny Neyman has been the general manager of KDLL since 2017. Before that she was a reporter and the Morning Edition host at KDLL.
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