Steam Bath Fire Caused Bethel Blaze

by Daysha Eaton on May 22, 2014

The Bethel Fire Department responded to a blaze at a steam bath behind the old 1,2,3 BBQ building at Watson's Corner early Thursday morning. - Courtesy of Daniel Albrite.

A building at Watson’s Corner in downtown Bethel burned overnight. – Photo courtesy of Daniel Albrite.

The Bethel Fire Department responded to a fire early Thursday morning around 1 o’clock behind the 1,2,3 Barbecue building at Watson’s corner. Bethel Fire Department captain Bill Howell says when crews arrived they found an outbuilding in flames.

The building caught fire, officials say, after someone did not completely extinguish a steam bath fire.

This photo taken Thursday afternoon shows the damage to th building that burned overnight. The building caught fire, officials say, after someone did not completely extinguish a steam bath fire. Photo by Ben Matheson.

“Turns our the building was what we call a steam bath here in Bethel. We were able to control the fire in about 18 minutes. There was a little bit of spread to an adjacent building which was a storage shed. We were able to get it under control pretty quickly and without any significant damage to any of the surrounding buildings,” said Howell

The fire had spread to a nearby storage shed but did not do much damage. Five fire department vehicles responded.

No injuries were reported, but an intoxicated person was removed from the scene.

Howell says it’s important to extinguish steam bath fires at the end of the night. And it’s particularly important right now because fire danger is high and structure fires can quickly spread to the tundra.

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