• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 37s

Cigarette blamed for East Anchorage fire

By Heather Hintze 6:55 PM June 12, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

Firefighters’ quick response prevented a home on Bolin Street from going up in flames Thursday afternoon.

Residents of New Hope, a transitional house for women, showed up to find the damage wasn’t as bad as they had initially thought.

“My heart was pounding,” said Andraya La Fleur, the residential manager of the home. “I was trying to get some answers whether it was a small kitchen fire or our whole house was engulfed.”

The Anchorage Fire Department said the preliminary cause of the fire appeared to be a cigarette butt left in a planter.

Anchorage firefighters have responded to more than a dozen cigarette-caused fires in just the past few months. They said it can be extremely dangerous to put cigarettes out in planters or trash cans because they become smoldering time bombs.

“It can be hours later when it ignites the actual container and work its way from the outside of the house into the house,” explained Captain Danny Costanios. “The problem with that is all your smoke detectors are inside of your house so a lot of times the fire has progressed really heavily and is pretty advanced.”

La Fleur said New Hope will look into who was responsible for leaving the butt there.

“I know a lot of fires get started that way and that’s why we don’t even allow cigarettes on the property so it’s unfortunate consequences when you break the rules,” she said.

The building has an automated alarm system that alerted firefighters. Costanios said residents are fortunate firefighters were alerted early and the fire didn’t start in the middle of the night.

The Red Cross is working with the women to find temporary housing until exposed wiring in the home can be fixed. La Fleur said she’s just counting her blessings there’s a home to come back to.

“We’ll make it through this. We’ve made it through a lot worse.” she said.

Latest Stories

  • Weather

    Nightcast Weather, March 27

    by KTVA Weather on Mar 27, 23:03

    Kenai Peninsula/Prince William Sound Expecting decreasing clouds with showers along the eastern coasts and Prince William Sound.   Southeast Rain showers will continue with heaviest showers in the south.   Interior/North Slope It will be mostly cloudy by the afternoon in interior areas. Along the North Slope it will be mostly cloudy with some light […]

  • Politics

    ASD, state lawmakers spar over budget concerns.

    by Joe Vigil on Mar 27, 22:51

    First state lawmakers fired off a letter criticizing Anchorage School Board members for passing a budget that included nearly $12 million cut by Gov. Bill Walker in January. Now the Anchorage School Board president is firing back with a letter of his own to state lawmakers. In that letter, Eric Croft says that while the district […]

  • News

    Amanda Knox grateful to ‘have my life back’ after court saga

    by Associated Press on Mar 27, 21:25

        SEATTLE- Amanda Knox says she’s grateful “for the life that’s been given to me” after Italy’s highest court overturned her murder conviction in the slaying of her roommate. Speaking briefly Friday evening to reporters outside her mother’s Seattle home, Knox expressed her thanks “for the justice I’ve received and for the support I’ve […]

  • News

    House panel moves bill addressing municipal marijuana regs

    by Associated Press on Mar 27, 21:19

    A bill addressing how municipalities regulate marijuana businesses has moved out of a House committee. The House Judiciary Committee moved a new version of Rep. Cathy Tilton’s bill, which would help define a municipality’s role in regulating marijuana businesses, set a maximum household limit of 24 marijuana plants and add marijuana clubs to the list […]

  • News

    Young geography whizzes compete for state title

    by Shannon Ballard on Mar 27, 21:11

    Young geography whizzes in Alaska and across the county competed on Friday for a spot in the 27th annual National Geographic Bee. Fourth through eighth graders spent months studying, preparing to get the questions right and proved themselves as the top student in their school. The winner, seventh grader Ben Ng from Juneau’s Floyd Dryden […]

  • News

    House passes bill designating day to honor Alaska elders

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 27, 20:41

    The Alaska House of Representatives has passed a bill designating the winter solstice as a day of honor for elders all across the state. Representatives across the board voted to pass House Bill 142 Friday, with only three excluded votes. The bill’s aim is to “honor the positive effect of Alaska elders on the generations […]

  • Crime

    Pastor sentenced to 10 years in prison for child pornography

    by Dave Leval on Mar 27, 20:24

    Ronald Rathbun Sr has helped counsel inmates. The pastor will continue to do that, but as one of them. Rathbun will spend 10 years in prison, a sentence handed down to the 58-year-old Friday. He pleaded guilty to child pornography charges in December. Alaska State Troopers arrested Rathbun at his home in November 2013. They […]

  • News

    Bean’s Cafe clients pitch in for cleanup

    by Lauren Maxwell on Mar 27, 17:43

    The area around Bean’s Café and the Brother Francis Shelter is looking a lot brighter after clients picked up 420 pounds of garbage Friday morning. The clean-up included removing a few items left on Karluk Street where people have been camping on the sidewalk for months. Police said most of the campers had moved on […]