Four families were displaced and one military police officer was injured after a fire broke out in a four-plex housing unit on Fort Wainwright just after 11 p.m. Sunday, according to a news release from the garrison.
All four families living in the building were evacuated safely with no injuries. Three of the four families were those of deployed soldiers. Information on the cause of the fire has not yet become publicly available.
“The cause of the fire is under investigation and that information hasn’t been released yet,” said Eve Baker, a public affairs officer for the garrison.
The Fort Wainwright Fire Department responded to the call and was assisted by the Fairbanks Fire Department, University of Alaska Fairbanks Fire Department and Steese Volunteer Fire Department. The fire began at 11:07 p.m. and was declared extinguished by 2:09 a.m.
One military police officer was injured while responding to the incident and was taken to Bassett Army Community Hospital. According to Baker, the officer slipped and fell on ice in the vicinity of the fire and was treated at the hospital for a minor injury. He was released within hours.
All four families, with a total of 12 children, were provided lodging for the night. The families will be moved into new on-post quarters provided by North Haven Communities.
“Given that on-post housing is not at full capacity and there are some vacancies, North Haven Communities, our privatized housing partner, is able to provide the families with new houses to move into today,” Baker wrote in an email to the Daily News-Miner on Monday.
The garrison’s Army Community Services, Army Emergency Relief Society and Red Cross representatives, along with North Haven Communities and other groups are taking steps to provide relief and support for the families. Baker wrote that these, as well as other organizations and individuals met on Monday to discuss how best to support the four families.
“That will include things like providing assistance navigating the insurance claims process, providing grants or no-interest loans through the Army Emergency Relief Society, providing loans or donations of household items, providing food and Christmas gifts and meeting other needs,” Baker wrote. “The families experienced a highly stressful, traumatic event, and the garrison will do everything in its power to ensure the families are taken care of.”
The last two serious house fires on base were two years ago and nine years ago.
Contact staff writer Alistair Gardiner at 459-7575. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMoutdoors.