Seniors evacuated during fire at center

One woman treated for her injuries

Posted: Wednesday, December 05, 2001


A 93-year-old woman was treated at a hospital and residents were forced out of their apartments following a fire at the Juneau Senior Center on Tuesday.

Marijo Toner, spokeswoman for Bartlett Regional Hospital, said the woman suffered smoke inhalation and superficial burns. She left the hospital at 8:45 p.m. in good condition, Toner said.

Capital City Fire and Rescue sent three fire department vehicles and 14 volunteers to the senior center and apartment complex on 12th Street about 5 p.m.

Capt. Eddie Quinto said smoke was billowing from a third-floor apartment and filling the hallway when firefighters arrived on the floor.

"It was a smoldering fire with a lot of thick smoke that filled up the apartment," he said. "When we got in there we found the resident and assisted her out of the apartment."

While some firefighters worked to contain the fire, others evacuated the building full of seniors, through the snow, to the Harborview Elementary School gym, Quinto said. He said senior center management helped firefighters get everyone to safety.

After half an hour the fire was out and most residents were able to go back to their homes, Quinto said. Residents on the third and fourth floors were allowed into their homes after the fire department ventilated the area.

An object left on the stove is thought to have caused the fire, said Quinto.

There was extensive smoke damage to the apartment where the fire began and minor smoke damage to apartments on the third and fourth floors, he said.

Representatives of Alaska Housing, which manages the complex, were unavailable for comment. Staff at the senior center declined to comment on the fire.

Melanie Plenda can be reached at

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