Fire destroys main building in Sleetmute

Posted: Sunday, December 23, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The main structure in the village of Sleetmute burned Thursday night, according to Alaska State Troopers.

The building was unoccupied and no one was injured, but troopers estimated damages at $750,000 or more.

The structure housed the town's health clinic and laundromat, traditional council and tribal offices, the community hall and the village public safety office.

The fire, which broke out about midnight, took out most of the town's phone service as well as the village center.

Initial investigation indicates the blaze may have started underneath the building as a result of either faulty wiring or faulty heat tape, troopers said.

Sleetmute is on the Kuskokwim River 80 miles east of Aniak. It has about a hundred residents.

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