Blaze claims Valley home

One resident taken to hospital for smoke inhalation

Posted: Sunday, January 02, 2005

A family was burned out of its rental home off Mendenhall Loop Road on Saturday night.

An adult male resident was taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation, said city Fire Marshal Rich Etheridge. The man had tried to put out the fire, he said.

The building's owner, who declined to identify himself, said the resident was named Jerome Dennis. He lived there with his two teenage daughters and a teenage son, the building owner said.

Dennis was in good condition Saturday night and will be admitted to the hospital, a spokeswoman said.

The American Red Cross of Juneau is helping the family find lodging, representatives said.

The doublewide metal trailer with two wooden additions, assessed at $30,000, was a total loss, Etheridge said. It was located in a heavily wooded lot next to a long, curving driveway across from Steelhead Street.

The fire, reported shortly before 5 p.m. apparently was caused by a furnace malfunction, Etheridge said. A resident told him the furnace was being worked on Saturday.

Diesel fuel leaked under the trailer, Etheridge said.

"That's been our biggest problem with this fire - getting to the diesel under there that's been burning," he said.

Firefighters blocked off Mendenhall Loop Road at the intersection of the driveway from about 5 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.

Anyone interested in helping the family should call Elaine Boyce, director of the local Red Cross, at 463-5713.

"Help from the community is always needed because everything the Red Cross does is donation-based," said Reena Etheridge, a Red Cross volunteer.

• Eric Fry can be reached at

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