Arson

At least six fires in Two Rivers, Alaska, are being investigated as arson, including the house seen here. Submitted photo/News-Miner

Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Jim Cockrell said Thursday that he is confident authorities will solve the string of fires that has plagued the community of Two Rivers, which has no fire department.

Six fires are under investigation as arson and a reward of almost $15,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible. Homes and a thrift store are among the structures to have burned.

“I know that we are doing the right things right now. We are going to get this fixed. Somebody is going to go to jail,” Cockrell said Thursday at Pike’s Waterfront Lodge where Gov. Mike Dunleavy was hosting a cabinet meeting.

State and federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, are working on the case, Cockrell said, and he would be visiting Two Rivers during his trip to Fairbanks. The community on Chena Hot Springs Road has a population of less than 1,000 people.

“I am confident, based on what I saw today, that we’ve got all of the resources directed in all of the right ways,” the commissioner said. “This will come to an end.”

He declined to offer details of the investigation.

The Alaska Fire Marshal’s Office has not yet determined whether a fire on Monday that demolished a house on Grange Hall Road was arson.

A connection between the fires has been confirmed by law enforcement, while residents in the areas known as Two Rivers and Pleasant Valley are on edge, watching for suspicious activity.

In the Two Rivers Pleasant Valley Facebook page, people are discussing starting a community watch group.

Contact staff writer Amanda Bohman at 459-7545. Follow her at twitter.com/FDNMborough.