- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 13, 2016

KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) - Firefighters have extinguished a blaze that caused significant fire and smoke damage to a Ketchikan home.

The Ketchikan Daily News reports (https://bit.ly/2ht3Obr ) that firefighters from the North Tongass Volunteer Fire Department, the City of Ketchikan and South Tongass knocked down the fire on Sunday.

North Tongass Fire Chief Jerry Kiffer said no one was injured in the blaze and the top floor of the two-story building was unoccupied at the time of the fire.

“Once we knocked (the fire) down a bit we made entry through the front door, put the fire out in the living room and then had to pull the ceilings in the living room to get to the fire that was in the attic,” Kiffer said.

Kiffer said it is unclear which floor of the building the fire started on or why a large amount of smoke was flowing from the main section of the home to the garage.

“It wasn’t very obvious how (it was) getting to the garage itself,” Kiffer said. “We pulled the ceilings down in the garage. There wasn’t any fire, just a lot of heavy smoke.”

Downstairs renter David Schwehm said he and another roommate cleared the house and called 911 after hearing suspicious noises upstairs.

“Thank God I hadn’t been asleep,” Schwehm said. “I went to lay down, heard a crackling noise and came out and saw flames or sparks by the chimney.”

The house suffered significant fire and smoke damage to the top floor and water damage to the bottom floor.

Kiffer said the fire was reported as a chimney fire, but the exact cause is under investigation.

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Information from: Ketchikan (Alaska) Daily News, https://www.ketchikandailynews.com


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