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Fairbanks Borough fire departments contain fire behind old Monson Motel

Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 4:09 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - University Fire Department responded to a fire Monday morning near the Monson Motel on Karen Way with the assistance of several other departments from across the borough.

According to Kyle Green, Fire Marshal for University Fire Department, the call came on Monday, October 18th, early in the morning.

“At about 6:15 in the morning, we received a phone call about a working fire at the old Monson Motel,” Green explained. “It’s actually the structures behind here, and we had acting fire when we showed up. The building is known to us to be vacant, has been vacant for the last couple years. There have been no injuries reported and we’re just going to keep working away until this thing goes out.”

While the fire is currently contained, it is still active (as of publishing time) which has prevented an investigation.

“No suspicions at this time and honestly I can’t start the investigation until the fire is out and I’m able to safely go in to conduct that investigation,” Green continued. “So, there will be more information forthcoming.”

In describing the response, Green explained, “We arrived pretty quickly and established what’s called a defensive operation. It was unsafe to go inside, partly because we don’t know what the status of the building is with it being vacant. Then also, there was a lot of fire. There was fire coming from multiple areas of the roof, and so at that time the Incident Commander decided to stay exterior and dampen it down. Right now we’re just trying to snuff out as many hot spots as we can so we can go in and put out the fire the rest of the way and begin the investigation.”

Due to the fire’s proximity to other buildings and properties on all sides, the response needed to be fast and aggressive - and according to Green, this is why several other fire departments were called in to assist.

“This is a pretty major fire response for us in the borough. We have tapped out every single agency so far,” Green said. “Steese Volunteer Fire Department, Chena Goldstream Fire Department, Fort Wainwright Fire Department, City Fire Department, and then North Pole Fire Department is also here helping University Fire Department put this fire out.”

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