Kalskag resident says house fire may be suspicious

by Mark Arehart on April 23, 2013

A single-story home in Lower Kalskag was extensively damaged by fire Monday morning. Alaska State Troopers are investigating the incident, but a resident suspects two individuals could have started the blaze.

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Rosanne Savage was at work when she heard her home was on fire.

“The window was already broken and flames were already coming out. It was super dark in there from all the smoke that was coming out from everywhere around the house and the ceiling.”

Savage said she stood from a distance and watched her home engulfed by flames. The house was a total loss.

“Everything burned from top to bottom and there was nothing we could have saved from the fire.”

No one was injured in the fire, as her brother, sister and her three children were staying elsewhere that day.

Savage said eyewitnesses placed two individuals inside the home just before the fire started. “I don’t know why they did that to my house,” she said.

She said she is unsure if the fire was accidental.

Alaska State Troopers in Aniak responded to the fire Monday morning. “And by the time troopers got there it had burned through the floor and it was pretty much rubble,” Trooper Spokesperson Beth Ipsen said.

The house had an estimated value of about $200,000. Troopers are still investigating, Ipsen said.

The State Deputy Fire Marshal was expected to arrive in Lower Kalskag sometime Monday.

Ipsen said the fire also damaged electrical and telephone lines in the area, temporarily leaving much of the village without power or phone service.

Savage and her family rented the home from the Association of Village Council Presidents.

Officials at AVCP could not be reached for comment in time for this story.

Savage said she and her family do not know where they will be able to stay or when they might be able to rent another home.

“Gosh, I have all these mixed emotions. I don’t know how to feel or what to do. It’s just… I feel so lost. And it’s so hard. It’s hard. It’s really hard to have no house.”

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