No one injured in Village St. blaze

Posted: Thursday, May 11, 2000

Fire gutted a small home beside the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall this morning.

No one was home at the time, and no one was injured, but the loss of a longtime family home was a blow to Daniel and Mabel Brown's five adult children, who own the house.

``My God, everything's gone,'' said Jeannie Lee, crying as she came to the scene.

Black smoke billowed from the one-and-a-half-story blue house where she and her four siblings had been raised. The smoke was so thick at times the house could not be seen from across the street.

``That's all we had left of my mom and dad,'' Lee said, as firefighters chainsawed through the metal roof of the house her father, Daniel Brown Jr., rebuilt.

The five children had inherited the home after Brown died four years ago. Their mother had died two years before.

Lee was storing belongings there, including all her family photographs. Her cousin, George Paul, his wife, Velma, and their 17-day-old son were living in the house.

But nobody was home when the fire department was called at 10:15 a.m., said Juneau Fire Chief Jim Carroll. The engines began arriving within two minutes to find flames and smoke shooting out of the house.

The sound of sirens drew Percy Martin from breakfast in her trailer across the street.

``All we saw was the smoke coming out,'' Martin said.

Firefighters evacuated the ANB hall and managed to protect it from the fire only a few feet away.

But the entire interior of the house was engulfed. Changing winds fanned the fire and an inside loft created a potential firetrap, Carroll said. Firefighters finally had to cut through the roof to reach the loft area.

The fire was out by noon. No cause or damage estimate was available as of midday.

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