Boy dies in Anchorage fire

Another seriously injured as blaze damaged four-plex

Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2007

FORT RICHARDSON, Alaska - One boy died and another was seriously injured Wednesday morning in a fire at a Fort Richardson four-plex, post officials said.

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The injured boy was being transferred to the burn unit of Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to Bob Hall, a civilian spokesman at the Army post.

The names and ages of the boys have not been released because some family members still need to be notified, Hall said. He did say that the children were from two different families staying at one of center units of the two-story four-plex. Altogether, nine people were in the unit when the fire broke out.

Post police officers patrolling the area noticed smoke coming from the building and reported the fire about 6 a.m., Hall said. The fire quickly spread to the attic. There were smoke alarms in the unit but it is unclear if they were working, Hall said.

The survivors were running out of the unit when military firefighters arrived. Someone realized one of the children was missing, but firefighters couldn't make it through the flames to reach the second floor where the boy was later found dead, Hall said.

All the survivors but the seriously injured boy were taken to area hospitals for smoke inhalation and burns.

The residents of the other three units were evacuated. There were no serious injuries among them, according to Hall.

The fire was put out within 90 minutes and its cause is under investigation.

Hall said he didn't have a damage estimate but added that the unit where it started and the roof of the entire building was badly damaged.

The occupants in the house were a woman whose husband is in Iraq and a man with two children, including the boy who died, who were staying there. The man is a family friend and believed to a godfather to one of the residents' children.

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