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Kenai house fire destroys duplex, displacing families

An image of the duplex after the fire on Monday, June 3.
Tina Campbell
An image of the duplex after the fire on Monday, June 3.

A Kenai structure fire this weekend razed a duplex and left two families without homes. Both have raised money to restart their lives in the days since.

Fire department officials were dispatched to a duplex near Kenai Central High School just after midnight on Monday, according to Kenai Fire Department Marshall Jeremy Hamilton. He said crews found heavy smoke and fire coming out of the roof of the building, and said the fire was threatening a neighboring home.

Occupants of both apartments were home at the time, but the department said they were all able to escape without injuries. The fire was under control by around 1:45 in the morning, and the cause is still under investigation, but both apartments were completely destroyed, and the families were displaced.

A GoFundMe was organized Monday to help one of the affected families, a mother with two young children, who lost everything in the fire. As of Thursday afternoon, the fundraiser has collected more than $30,000.

SOLVE Alaska, a Soldotna-based organization dedicated to helping veterans, organized a fundraiser for the other affected family. According to the group’s Facebook page, the other apartment was the home to a Vietnam War Veteran, his wife, their two children and three grandchildren. The organization says they put the family in a hotel for the short term, and collected donations on behalf of the family. There's also a GoFundMe for the family as well.

Riley Board is a Report For America participant and senior reporter at KDLL covering rural communities on the central Kenai Peninsula.
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