Three perish in Nunam Iqua fire

by Sophie Evan on July 1, 2013

Nunam Iqua Home on Fire, photo courtesy of AST

Nunam Iqua Home on Fire, photo courtesy of AST

A house fire in the Yukon River village of Nunam Iqua killed three people over the weekend and injured others.

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The fire broke out in a three-bedroom home during a party that lasted into the morning hours.

Alaska State Troopers have been investigating and say the fire started around 6:30 Friday morning.

Trooper spokesperson, Beth Ipsen, says the three people who died have yet to be positively identified by the State’s medical examiner so they haven’t released any names yet.

“residents, they actually tried to put the fire out, and they did eventually, but not without it doing a considerable amount of damage, they tried with buckets of water and then hoses, like lawn hoses,” says Ipsen, “and they eventually put the fire out, but not before three people died in the fire,” says Ipsen.

Two other people were medevac’d from the village for smoke inhalation and minor burns. They were flown into Bethel before being sent on to Anchorage for further treatment.

Ipsen says fourteen people were in the home partying when the fire started near the front door, which prevented them from exiting.

“there’s a mixture of ages of people, some were awake, some were sleeping, the fire broke out near the entrance of the home, meaning the door, so they couldn’t get out the front door,” says Ipsen, “they had to escape through a window, so 14 people trying to make a mad scramble through a window trying to escape a fire, you can imagine pretty chaotic,” says Ipsen.

A Trooper from Saint Mary’s and a Deputy Fire Marshall from Anchorage spent the weekend at the scene of the fatal fire, trying to determine the cause, which is still unknown.

The village of Nunam Iqua is located at the mouth of the Yukon River.

AVCP Social Services says the family is immediate need of blankets and sleeping bags as well as cookware and utensils. Grant Aviation and ERA will fly out donations that are clearly labeled for free. Here is a list of clothing that the family also needs: Nunam Iqua Ignatius Family Sizes

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