A house fire in Shageluk apparently claimed a man’s life early Saturday, according to Alaska State Troopers.
In an AST dispatch posted Sunday night, troopers say they received a call from a resident of the village, about 330 miles northwest of Anchorage, just before 4 a.m. Saturday.
“The resident reported that by the time he got to the scene at approximately (3:15 a.m.), the roof had already caved in and the entire structure was engulfed in flames,” troopers wrote.
Responding troopers from Aniak arrived at about 12:30 p.m. to find the home still burning.
“The fire was still creating a lot of smoke and the area was too hot to enter,” troopers wrote. “At approximately (12:40 p.m.), troopers located the remains of the body.”
AST spokesperson Beth Ipsen says the home that burned was small, at roughly 16 by 10 feet, and had a woodstove but no power. It's not clear when the house initially began to burn, due to delays in its reporting mentioned by the caller.
"The guy got a call at 3 o'clock saying it was on fire," Ipsen said. "He went over at 3:15 (a.m.) and the house was fully engulfed."
No steps were taken to fight the fire, due to apparent lack of firefighting equipment. The Alaska Division of Fire and Life Safety has sent a number of Micro-Rural Fire Departments, trailers of firefighting gear stored in insulated containers for use by locals, to rural Alaska.
"Some villages do have the equipment -- it's called the 'red box' -- but it doesn't sound like they did," Ipsen said. "Unfortunately, it sounds like by the time it was seen it was too far gone for them to have done anything about it."
Troopers have a tentative identification on the victim, whose name hasn't been released pending confirmation that he died in the fire.
"We do know someone's unaccounted for and that he lives in the house, but we don't know that that's the case," Ipsen said.
Ipsen says that while no foul play is suspected in the man's death, the body will undergo an autopsy and positive identification in Anchorage. A state fire marshal is expected to fly to Shageluk Monday to investigate the cause of the fire.
This is a developing story. Please check KTUU.com and the Channel 2 newscasts for updates.