Fairbanks woman dies in house fire

Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- An elderly woman died early Monday morning in a house fire in the Hamilton Acres subdivision.

The victim has not been identified, pending notification of family members. The cause of the blaze, which is under investigation, has not been determined.

Another occupant of the home, sleeping upstairs, told investigators he was awakened by shouts from the basement. He tried to reach the basement stairway but was driven back by heavy smoke and heat.

Outside the house he found flames coming out of the basement bedroom window and ran to neighboring homes for help. Firefighters arrived four minutes later and found heavy black smoke streaming from the front door and basement window.

Ernie Misewicz, Fairbanks Fire Department deputy fire marshal, said firefighters were able to get the blaze under control and extinguished within 10 minutes after their arrival.

Upon searching the home, they found the body of the victim in the basement bedroom. Investigators said there was no smoke detector in the basement.

Misewicz estimates the fire damage at about $35,000.

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