UPDATE: Underground hot spots rekindle Eagle River, officials say

Photo courtesy Kristin Gartman.
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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - 1:11 p.m. Update:
A neighbor to the home that burned in Eagle River Tuesday morning said he woke up at 5:05 a.m. and noticed an orange glow outside his window that he first attributed to his porch light. "But I was hearing this eerie sound, like rain --chhhhh-- never heard a sound like that before," Tony Gonsalves said.

He then looked out the window and saw the home engulfed in flames. "Couldn't see the structure of the house at all -- it was just a big ball of fire," he said. He then woke up his wife, who called 911.

Tony and Sue Gonsalves live just downhill from the home. "If it would have been windy, we would have been in trouble," Sue told Channel 2 this morning.

11:45 a.m. Update:

AFD has reported that units are back on location, dousing the fire which is "smoldering" underground.

According to officials, the structure collapsed into itself, burying burning debris inside the basement, creating hot spots that the initial crews had missed or were unable to access.

Now, officers on the scene are pouring water in the area attempting to get water down below the area and put out the fires burning underneath.

AFD has contacted the homeowners and suggested that they contract with a salvage company to try to move some of the debris away, allowing the fire fighters to better access what hot spots may remain.

9:30 a.m. Update:

According to witnesses, the fire in Eagle River may have possibly started once again.

Jodie Hettrick, the deputy chief of operations with the Anchorage Fire Department, said that "the fire may have rekindled, we have crews en route now to circle back and check on it."

A KTUU viewer sent photos she said she took at 9 a.m., displaying the home once again in flames during daylight hours.

Hettrick wanted to remind anyone in the area to call 911 before taking photos of an active fire.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

9 a.m. Update:

The scene has been declared under control and the fire has been extinguished, officials with AFD said.

Now, fire fighters are in "maintenance mode" while fire investigators look into how and where the fire started in the home.

"They look for cause and they look for origin," said Jodie Hettrick, the deputy chief of operations with the Anchorage Fire Department.

The roads have once again reopened and AFD apparatus has been recalled from the scene.

Original Story:

Fire fighters responded to an actively burning home fire in Eagle River early Tuesday morning.

According to Jodie Hettrick, the deputy chief of operations with the Anchorage Fire Department, the residential structure on the 24000 block of Eagle River Road was "fully involved" as of 4:58 a.m. Officers with AFD arrived on the scene about 10 minutes later to begin working on the blaze.

At least two occupants were at home at the time and managed to escape. Hettrick said they both sustained injuries, but that they were not significant.

13 units were on scene as of 5:30 a.m. with another six units en route, Hettrick said.

According to AFD, the home was unfortunately outside of the range of hydrants.

Both lanes have been shut down on Eagle River Road while the fire fighters respond to the fire. They are asking people to avoid the area.


These photos taken from a viewer at approximately 9 a.m., show the fire which seems to have rekindled.


 
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