A Nikiski man died and another escaped from their burning residence at March Avenue and East Court early Friday morning.
Nikiski firefighters and Alaska State Troopers responded to a 911 call at 3:10 a.m. and contacted Stanley Miller, 58, who reported that his roommate was still inside the burning house.
Smoke and intense heat prevented Miller and firefighters from going into the house, although Miller had attempted to rescue his friend by breaking several windows.
Firefighters had the fire under control within 20 minutes of their arrival on scene, but soon after, the building's metal roof collapsed.
Firefighters were able to put out the fire by 5:30 a.m., and found the body of John Kroker, 43, in the kitchen of the residence.
According to a trooper report, an unattended wood stove is suspected as being the cause of the fire.
Miller received minor lacerations to his hands and had facial burns, according to Nikiski Assistant Fire Chief Warren Isham, but declined being taken to the hospital for treatment.
Nikiski responded with one fire engine, two tankers, a rescue unit, an ambulance, three staff vehicles and 17 crew members. The Kenai Fire Department sent one engine and two firefighters.
Isham said the two-story, frame house near Douglas and Holt Lamplight roads was a total loss.
State fire marshals and the Nikiski fire chief continued an investigation of the fire during the day Friday.
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