Fire chars condominiums

Posted: Wednesday, June 05, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A car struck a natural gas meter Tuesday evening in front of an Anchorage condominium building and sparked a three-alarm fire that damaged the front of the 30-unit, four-story structure.

At least eight condos were damaged by fire, the building's manager said. The fire took about 20 minutes to extinguish.

No one was injured, officials said.

A furnace or mechanical room behind the gas line may have ignited the gas, said Anchorage fire investigator Dan Diehl.

The car that hit the gas meter left the scene.

Anchorage police contacted the driver of the vehicle, 69-year-old Doris Hufford, late Monday evening.

Hufford told investigators she was dropping a friend off at the building when she accidentally took her foot off the brake and struck the meter. Hufford said she didn't see any damage or smell any gas so she left. Police said violations against Hufford are pending.

The building manager said some residents may be able to return home in a week or two, but many residents will be homeless for weeks or even months while repairs are made.

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