Troopers name 2 people dead in fire at Western Alaska jail
Two people incarcerated at a Western Alaska jail died Sunday when they could not escape the building during a fire.
On Monday, Alaska State Troopers identified the deceased as 24-year-old Becca White and 22-year-old Isaiah Parka, both of Napakiak.
Alaska State Troopers said in a dispatch Sunday the fire at the Napakiak jail was reported around 1:27 a.m. that day.
Bethel-based troopers responded, according to the dispatch. Two guards were able to get out of the building, but White and Parka were not able to escape from their cells. One of the jail guards attempted to free them and was seriously injured while doing so.
According to troopers on Monday, both of the guards were medevaced. One guard did not need further treatment; the other was airlifted out of state to receive treatment for his injuries. The man is in serious, but stable condition, troopers wrote.
Troopers said Sunday that one of the guards told them the fire allegedly began when one of the two people in custody lit a mattress on fire inside a jail cell.
In the agency's update Monday, AST did not say whether it was White or Parka who is suspected of starting the fire.
After the fire was extinguished, troopers located the bodies, which have been sent to the State Medical Examiner's office for autopsy. According to AST's Monday update, the medical examiner still needs to positively identify the bodies.
Deputy fire marshals and an investigator with the Alaska Bureau of Investigation in Anchorage were en route to the community Sunday.
According to troopers Monday, the Mat-Su General Investigation Unit and State Fire Marshal's Office are handling the case.
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