Posted: Tuesday, May 29, 2001

East Anchorage couple killed in house fire

ANCHORAGE - Two people died Monday when a fire raced through their East Anchorage home.

Danny and Regina Dennard were apparently trying to escape from a basement bedroom when they were overcome by smoke, said fire inspector Cleo Hill.

Their daughter, Linda Geiger, 20, escaped from her ground-floor bedroom window with the help of neighbors, Hill said. She rescued a cat, but another one died in the blaze. A dog is unaccounted for.

The couple's only escape route was up a steep, narrow staircase, but they didn't make it that far. The bedroom windows were about 4-by-8 inches and would have been impossible for a person to fit through, Hill said. The couple most likely passed out after they inhaled "all the superheated gases and fumes from the fire."

The deaths mark the first fire fatalities of the year for Anchorage, Hill said. The house sustained about $80,000 in damage. Flames also damaged the house next door.

Hill said she needs to investigate further to determine what started the fire but said it is not suspicious. Geiger told her the home had smoke detectors but she didn't hear an alarm. Hill said she didn't immediately find any smoke detectors.

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