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Fire destroys Juneau apartment building

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Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 11:58 am | Updated: 11:55 am, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

JUNEAU, Alaska - Fire investigators were sifting through debris Tuesday in a search for clues into what caused a large fire that destroyed an apartment building in downtown Juneau.

Capital City Fire/Rescue Chief Richard Etheridge said no one was reported missing from the Gastineau Apartments building, a four-story building with about 30 units.

The dramatic fire began Monday night, sending flames through the roof and into the nighttime sky. Apartment resident Sarah Day told the Juneau Empire ( ) that residents were told to leave at about 6 p.m.

Etheridge said the blaze began in a fourth-floor apartment toward the back of the building and spread to the roof, which eventually collapsed onto the top floor.

The building is a total loss, mostly because of extensive water damage to all four floors, Etheridge said.

Firefighters fought the blaze for about nine hours before it was declared out Tuesday morning.

One firefighter suffered a concussion when he was hit on the side of his head with water coming from a high-pressure water hose. The firefighter was treated and released from a hospital.

The American Red Cross of Alaska has set up a shelter at Centennial Hall to assist residents who were displaced.

Five people were treated for smoke inhalation.

A cat died in the fire but Etheridge said firefighters saved a chinchilla.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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