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CCFR: Unattended candle caused downtown fire

Posted: November 15, 2012 - 1:11am  |  Updated: November 15, 2012 - 4:58pm

The fire department announced Monday that the most likely cause of a fire that consumed the top floor of a downtown apartment building last week was a burning candle left unattended.

Fire Marshal Daniel Jager said in a release that a tenant on the fourth floor of the Gastineau Apartments, 127 South Franklin Street, left a candle burning in a bedroom. The fire began on the floor and spread to the bed, the release states.

The tenant had left the home for a short while and upon returning discovered the fire, the release states.

All residents of the building were evacuated, and no fatalities or life threatening injuries were reported. Five people were treated for smoke inhalation, and a firefighter sustained a concussion during fire fighting efforts.

The Nov. 5 fire displaced 50 or so residents of the apartments, as well as two businesses located on its ground floor, as the building was condemned by the city the next day.

Capital City Fire/Rescue said their investigation was concluded on Monday. The fire did not appear to be intentionally set, Jager said.

It was investigated by CCFR, the Juneau Police Department and members of the Sitka Fire Department, as well as several insurance adjustors and investigators for the property and businesses located inside the structure.

The property was insured. The prescise dollar amount of damages has not yet been determined, Jager said.

The historic building had a total property value of about $1.8 million, according to the City and Borough of Juneau’s Finance Department Assessor’s Database.

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

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