By MARK THIESSEN
ANCHORAGE — A pre-dawn fire that swept through an apartment complex in Alaska’s largest city and burned for hours killed at least two people and injured at least 16, authorities said Wednesday.
Authorities warned that there could be more victims because they were still unable to thoroughly search four to five units in the complex seven hours after they put out the fire.
“Until we have that opportunity, we don’t know if there’s going to be more victims or not,” said Anchorage Deputy Fire Chief Jodie Hettrick.
The fire broke out at the Royal Suite Lodge apartment complex at about 2:20 a.m. and was brought under control about three hours later.
Anchorage police identified one of those killed as Teuaililo Nua, 38. The other victim who died had not been identified.
Four of those injured were taken to hospitals in critical condition. Among the injured were four children, and two were hospitalized in serious condition, the fire department said in a statement.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Hettrick said the apartment complex was an older structure and she did not believe it had a sprinkler system.
Thirty-seven people left homeless by the fire were taken to a shelter, American Red Cross of Alaska spokeswoman Lisa Miller said.