Warehouse fire

Fairbanks fire crews battle a warehouse blaze Monday, May 3, 2021, in South Fairbanks. No injuries were reported in the fire, the smoke from which could be seen from across the city. 

Two firefighters from the Fairbanks Fire Department received minor injuries during Monday's warehouse fire in South Fairbanks. The firefighters were treated at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and are expected to recover quickly, according to a Tuesday news release from the city of Fairbanks. Besides the two firefighters, no one was hurt.

"The firefighters are feeling OK, and the chief expects them back to work in a week," Teal Soden, communications director for the city, wrote in an email to the News-Miner. 

The fire started at C&R Pipe and Steel on Alta Way at approximately 3.30 p.m. Monday. Emergency crews responded within 6 minutes, put the fire out by approximately 7:54 p.m., and stayed on scene to take care of hot spots until 10:22 p.m.

"Some of the circumstances around the fire, such as the water supply being far away, made this one particularly difficult," Soden said.

According to the release, when fire crews arrived, "employees of C&R were attempting to knock down the fire with fire extinguishers, but the fire quickly worked its way into the ceiling and spread throughout the building. The building did not have a sprinkler system, and the construction of the building, as well as highly flammable materials on-site, contributed to the fast spread of the fire.”

To put the flames out, the crews used water from a hydrant that was more than a quarter mile away.

“Due to the hydrants being so far away, it took a while to get the water spraying on fire,” on-duty Battalion Chief Scott Raygor said.

Fairbanks, University, Steese, Chena Goldstream and Fort Wainwright fire departments were working together to put the flames down. All city agencies collaborated to respond to the situation, with the city Public Works Department blocking off the roads, law enforcement controlling traffic and Golden Valley Electrical Association securing the power.

The fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire, but Raygor said that employees working with metal might have been the source of the fire.

Teal Soden, communications director for the city of Fairbanks, said the building "will pretty much be a total loss."

Contact staff writer Alena Naiden at 459-7587. Follow her at twitter.com/FDNMlocal.