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Troopers, fire marshals will investigate gold dredge fire

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Posted: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 8:30 am, Thu Aug 8, 2013.

FAIRBANKS — The Alaska State Troopers and the Alaska State Fire Marshal’s office are investigating a fire at the historic Gold Dredge No. 3 on the Steese Highway.

The investigation is in its early stages, said Beth Ipsen, a spokeswoman for the troopers.

The fire was reported at 3:30 p.m. Saturday and quickly consumed the dredge, leaving only the metal superstructure.

Witnesses across the Steese Highway at the Chatanika Lodge said two men came into the lodge on Saturday afternoon and said the fire started when they pulled on a pulley. It kept spinning on its own after they pulled it and created sparks.

They asked for help from the lodge, but the fire spread too fast to be put out.

The dredge is owned by Patty Peirsol, of Fairbanks, and Jane and Chris Haigh, former Fairbanks residents who live in Kenai.

The owners are seeking information about the cause of the fire. Peirsol asked anyone with information to call her at 479-8668.

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