Fire damages Fairbanks' first high-rise

Posted: Sunday, August 15, 2010

FAIRBANKS - Firefighters contained a small fire in a vacant downtown Fairbanks building where investigators found several mattresses and other signs people had been living inside.

Witnesses saw a man and woman leaving the building shortly before the fire started on Friday morning, and no one was found inside when firefighters arrived.

The 11-story Polaris Building has been vacant for more than a decade, and occasionally is used as a shelter by the homeless.

Investigators have estimated the damage to the building at about $20,000.

The building built in 1952 was Fairbanks' first high-rise.

It changed hands several times and was finally sold late last decade to an Anchorage developer, who has yet to make improvements.

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