Anchorage firefighters say a fire late Wednesday night destroyed a Turnagain home, causing no injuries but displacing a family of six.

Just after 11 p.m. Wednesday night, neighbor John McKay woke up to a knock on his door at his home on the 3000 block of Borland Drive.

“There were several people out on the street looking at the fire and shouting, ‘There's a fire, you need to get out.’”

That's when McKay saw his neighbor’s house on fire, with smoke and flames billowing out and escaping into the night sky.

“A couple of the windows had already blown out,” McKay said. “Flames (were) roaring out of the windows up above the roof line.”

Shortly afterward, the Anchorage Fire Department showed up -- a total of 12 units responded.

“By then it was completely totally, completely engulfed in flames,” McKay said.

With a quick response and a lot of hard work, firefighters were able to put out the flames shortly after midnight Thursday.

“The fire was well-developed on our arrival,” said AFD Capt. Chad Richardson. “We pulled up and we had pretty much had fire blowing out in front of the entire house.”

According to AFD, the cause of the fire is still unknown.

“It's hard to say what exactly (was) blowing in there, but that garage is full of things that were blown up when we got here,” Richardson said. “We made entry in the door -- our first water hit something that made it blow up in a big white spark.”
The home’s occupants were unharmed but likely devastated, knowing they'll be heading into the new year looking for a new home.

In a statement Thursday morning on the fire, AFD spokesperson Al Tamagni Jr. says the house was a total loss, and a trailer near the structure suffered about $3,000 in damage.

"Investigation determined that the cause of the fire was an electric portable heater that was placed too close to a pile of closes in a utility room," Tamagni wrote.

Firefighters remind residents to store flammable materials in a flammable locker outside, or in a shed. Also, working smoke detectors are a must, since they may have saved this family’s life.