Anchorage police had responded to multiple burglaries at the former Midtown restaurant which burned in an hourslong fire Thursday.

AFD Assistant Chief Alex Boyd said there wasn’t any word Friday on the cause of the fire which destroyed the Sea Galley building at 4101 Credit Union Drive, or whether the site has been searched for human remains.

Firefighters had responded to the blaze at about 7 a.m. Thursday, but couldn’t enter the structure and instead kept the fire contained until it burned out that evening.

A security guard at a nearby building told KTVA she had frequently seen homeless people breaking into the building. Asked about those reports, APD spokesman MJ Thim said that although police had no reports of squatters in the building after the restaurant’s closure in October, there were two subsequent reports of burglaries there.

Officers responded to the first burglary at about noon on Nov. 8, but haven’t made any arrests in the incident.

“Initial indications showed that there was forced entry through the back entrance of the building and there was various damage to the property as well as undisclosed stolen items,” police wrote in an email. “Upon arrival, the establishment was unoccupied.”

Police did arrest one suspect in a second call on Dec. 23, when police responded to the building at about 5:45 p.m.

“Upon arrival, officers identified one adult male inside the vacant establishment in progress of a burglary,” police wrote. “The suspect has been identified as 56-year-old Arther Gamash. He was remanded at the Anchorage Jail on the charge of [second-degree burglary].”

Boyd said AFD was working with the building’s owner, who will be responsible for fencing off and securing the area. No further updates were likely on the fire’s cause or origin until next week.

Daniella Rivera contributed information to this story.

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