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Firefighters battle flames, frigid temperatures Tuesday near Farmers Loop

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Posted: Thursday, December 6, 2012 6:25 am

FAIRBANKS — Firefighters battled a stubborn fire at a large garage for more than an hour Tuesday afternoon, fighting the blaze in temperatures that dipped down to 36 degrees below zero.

Steese Area Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mitch Flynn said his crews arrived about 2:40 p.m. to find fire already shooting out the gable end of the two-story garage-workshop. He estimated the building, located on Air Park Drive near Farmers Loop, was already about 30 percent in flames at the time.

“When we got there, it was really ripping,” he said.

Flynn said it took an hour to get the fire under control. Firefighters needed to enter the structure to put out the blaze inside, with added challenges of keeping their oxygen and water supplies flowing in the cold temperatures.

Flynn said a chicken coop at the same site had been the source of a fire about three weeks earlier and that efforts to clean up that damage were a contributor to Tuesday’s fire. During those repairs, a wood stove was fired up in the garage, igniting cedar siding that was touching a single-walled stovepipe.

Flynn said the fire spread rapidly in the building, which had little drywall and was filled with many items.

Flynn said no damage estimate has been made for the structure and its contents.

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