Two men died when a historic building in downtown Juneau caught fire early Sunday morning, according to a release from the Juneau Police Department.
A man called 911 at 4:14 a.m. Sunday, reporting that his home at 526 N. Seward Street, next to the Terry Miller Legislative Building, was on fire. When Capital City Fire/Rescue reached the scene, according to the release, flames were coming from the back side of the building and a woman was clinging to a second-story roof. The historic building is currently used as a hotel called The Dining Inn.
Firefighters determined that seven people had been inside the building at the time of the fire and two were still inside when they arrived. CCFR found the two men in the building, but they were unresponsive. Ambulances transported the men to Bartlett Regional Hospital where they were both pronounced dead.
Of the other five occupants of the building, two were taken to the hospital by JPD officers, one was taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries and two escaped unharmed, according to the JPD release. One was treated by JPD and bystanders on the scene for lacerations on his arms.
The initial investigation, according to the JPD release, shows the two men were foreign nationals. One of the surviving women identified both men, and next of kin notifications are pending contact with relatives outside the country.
CCFR fought the fire for four hours, finally extinguishing the blaze at 8:32 a.m. Four firefighters were taken to the hospital due to smoke inhalation and exhaustion. As of 12:07 p.m. Sunday, three of the firefighters were medically cleared and one was still at the hospital. CCFR is still working to determine the cause of the fire.
The building, known as the George-Davis House in the city’s registry of historical buildings, was constructed in the early 1900s. It was built for Martin George, who was the chief draftsman for the Surveyor General’s office. George was also the father of Wallis George, who built the Baranof Hotel.