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Two fires, two days, two miles apart: Another building burns on Chena Hot Springs Road

Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 12:58 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Less than 24 hours after a fire suspected to be arson destroyed a vacant commercial building near 10-mile of Chena Hot Springs Road, a second building was burned. Firefighters from the North Star Volunteer Fire Department responded to a residential building burning near 12-mile of Chena Hot Springs Road just after midnight on Thursday morning. The building was unoccupied and destroyed in the fire.

According to Captain Eric Spitzer of the ‘D’ Detachment of Alaska State Troopers, “This fire was also classified as incendiary in nature and is being investigated as an arson.” He said the investigation is ongoing.

Chena Hot Springs Road has seen numerous fires over the past few months as a serial arsonist has destroyed homes, abandoned buildings and commercial buildings on Chena Hot Springs Road near the communities of Two Rivers and Pleasant Valley. Alaska State Troopers, State Fire Marshals and the FBI are investigating the crimes.

Spitzer had a message for residents of the area, “We ask that you have faith and trust in the process of these arson investigations. We’ve dedicated many resources to the investigations and my commitment to you is that we are not simply going to walk away from these investigations. Even if the fires stop we will not.”

He also encouraged anyone with information about the fires to contact troopers at 451-5100 or by submitting an anonymous tip through the AKTips app or on the AST website. He reminded people that the reward being offered for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the arsonist is currently at $25,000.

He also had a message to the arsonist, “There is no righteous explanation for the terror that you are spreading within the community. I encourage you to turn yourself in and stop lighting fires.” Adding, “You will be caught, that’s my promise to you.” He went on to say that they can work around the clock and while the arsonist sleeps, they are working to stop him.

Spitzer said that they are using every available resource they have to catch the arsonist and no good idea is turned down.

He said that to preserve the integrity of the investigation he is not able to comment about whether or not they have a suspect.

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