Fire department puts out fires Sunday, Monday

One caused by materials too close to wood stove; other from unattended rice cooker

A Mendenhall Valley home caught fire on Sunday, but the flames were confined to the living room and extinguished by firefighters, according to the fire department.

Capital City Fire & Rescue responded to a report of the residential structure fire at 9166 Riverwood Drive at about 5 p.m.

Fire Marshal Daniel Jager said in a phone interview that a neighbor, who is a firefighter that was off-duty at the time, was outside working on his truck when he noticed that the blinds on the house looked “droopy.” He walked closer to inspect them and saw that they were melting. He saw smoke inside the single-story house and called 911.

Jager said firefighters responded within four minutes and discovered grey smoke coming out of the roof eaves.

The fire was believed to be caused by combustible materials — stacks of firewood and boxes of newspapers — that were too close to the wood stove heat source, Jager said.

The homeowners were not home at the time.

There was approximately $5,000 in heat and smoke damage, Jager said. The flames and smoke damaged the wood floors, drapes, furniture, and almost all the belongings in the house were covered with soot and the lingering smell, Jager said. He said the home was insured.

No injuries were reported.

The fire department also responded to the Mendenhall Tower apartment building in the downtown area at 4 a.m. on Monday when a fire alarm sounded and there was a report of heavy smoke on the second floor.

Firefighters discovered a fire had started in one of the single apartments due to an unattended rice cooker, Jager said.

No injuries were reported, and there was very little damage from the heat or smoke, Jager said. Residents were evacuated, but allowed back inside of the building about 40 minutes later.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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