ANAKTUVUK PASS, Alaska (KTUU) - A fire broke out in the middle of the night Wednesday, slowly building inside the Public Works building in Anaktuvuk Pass. Within hours, the building was totally engulfed.
A fire rages through the Public Works building in Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska. Photo by Jordan Rulland.
According to Brian Gordon, the Village Fire Chief, the station was alerted of the fire just before midnight on Feb. 7, and the crew rushed to the scene.
"We fought the fire, both internally and externally for four and a half hours, just fighting the fire, but it kept burning," Gordon said Thursday. "It's still burning right now."
Eventually, Gordon explained, the wastewater engineers said the fire department had to stop fighting the fire, in fear that the village of Anaktuvuk Pass would run out of water.
"It's going to burn itself out at this point, because we can't keep using the village's water," Gordon said.
So far it does not appear likely to spread to any nearby structures, however Gordon said that thick smoke had been blowing over the village since the fire started.
The building is expected to be a total loss. The Department of Public Works states on its website that its mission is to improve life for residents by "providing a wide range of cost-effective and well-coordinated essential municipal services."
So far it is not clear what started the fire.
This is a developing story and will be updated.