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Early morning fire rips through three Kobuk structures, including home

By KTVA CBS 11 News 6:34 PM October 30, 2016

Last updated at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 31

Three buildings were destroyed by fire early Sunday morning in the village of Kobuk.

The fire was first reported to officials in Kotzebue just before 1 a.m., according to Silvano Viveiros, the Northwest Arctic Borough fire chief.

An online trooper dispatch said the fire started at a local grocery store. Viveiros said the fire grew so quickly, no one was notified until it was fully engulfed. It spread to the store’s storage unit and a nearby home before it was finally put out around 6 a.m., he said.

Viveiros said power was cut off in the area of the fire, making firefighting efforts difficult because the water pumps run on electricity. He said it was restored by Monday afternoon.

All three structures were considered a total loss, troopers wrote. Viveiros said the village was supplied by two other grocery stores.

No one was injured by the fire, Viveiros confirmed.

Viveiros did not immediately have information on the man whose home was destroyed, but he and Alaska State Troopers left Kotzebue Monday morning to investigate the fire. After arriving in Kobuk, he said the man who lived in the home was staying with someone else in the village.

Troopers said the Alaska Fire Marshals office also responded to the community. Viveiros said they investigated the scene and then held an assembly at the local school to teach kids about fire and ice safety, as it is Fire Prevention Month in Alaska.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to contact the Alaska State Troopers in Kotzebue at 907-442-3222.

Kobuk is a small village in northwest Alaska, located along the Kobuk River.

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