Two Die in Galena House Fire
FAIRBANKS — Two people were killed in a house fire in the Yukon River village of Galena on Friday night.
The names of the deceased were not released pending identification by the state medical examiner, but they are believed to be Terry Fair, the general manager of the village’s radio station, KIYU, and his wife, Kim.
The Fairs lived in the two-story home on Louden Road and their cars were parked in the driveway at the time of the fire, according to Tim Bodony, chief for the Galena Volunteer Fire Department.
Neighbors said they heard an explosion sometime after 9 p.m. and the house was engulfed in flames by the time they got there, according to a story in the Anchorage Daily News. The fire department responded but wasn’t able to save the home or those inside it.
A deputy fire marshal responded to Galena at the request of the Galena Police Department and confirmed that two bodies were found in the burned residence, Alaska State Troopers spokesman Tim Despain said. The cause of the fire had not been determined yet, Despain said.
Fair, known to radio listeners in Yukon villages as "Shadow Steel," had worked at the radio station for 12 years, according to board of directors president Russ Sweetsir. He called Fair’s probable death “a big tragic loss.”
“He was actually the guy who really moved the radio station forward,” Sweetsir said. “When he came to this town in 2000 I used to tease him we had a one tower and one dish radio station.
“He moved it up so we had five towers and five or six dishes,” Sweetsir said. “His whole heart was moving that radio station forward. He’ll be tough to replace.”
Fair was in the process of increasing the height of one of the station’s towers, he said. Fair called him at 9 p.m. Friday but Sweetsir said he was already in bed and didn’t talk to him.
Some Galena residents told Bodony that there was smoke and flames visible before the explosion, according to the Daily News. Bodony, who lived only a few houses down from Fair, didn’t hear the explosion but some people told him it rattled their windows.
Contact Fairbanks Daily News-Miner staff writer Tim Mowry at 907-459-7587.