Smoke was pouring from the windows of Katie and Peter Olympic’s home when the fire truck arrived. It was shortly before 8 a.m. on May 10. A handful of volunteers were already on the scene.
“We had the fire truck running, and we had guys shooting water into the house,” said Tim Anelon, Iliamna Fire Chief. “I had guys running line from the fire hydrant to the fire truck to keep our fire truck full as we fight the fire, and we saved the structure.”
There were no injuries, but the inside of the home and the Olympics’ belongings sustained significant damage from flames and smoke. The heat from the fire melted photographs. The electrical wiring, insulation, flooring and many appliances need to be replaced.
Anelon said that the exact cause of the fire is unknown, but it appears to be electrical as the blaze began near the fuse box.
The community is banding together to help repair the Olympics’ home and replace their belongings.
Back-to-back wildfires kept emergency response teams busy on the southern peninsula Monday.
Firefighters were called out to the scene of a 3.5-acre wildfire along Misty Lane near Anchor Point at around 1:40 p.m. Monday, only to be deployed to a second fire in Nikolaevsk a few hours later.
Multiple agencies, including the Division of Forestry, Ninilchik Fire Department, Kachemak Emergency Services and Anchor Point Fire, responded. Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management monitored the fires and stayed in contact with fire agencies, but did not have to mobilize any resources, Emergency Manager Dan Nelson said.
Emergency management provides support if residents need to evacuate or take shelter due to a natural disaster.
Fed by dry grass and trees killed by spruce bark beetles, the Nikolaevsk fire spread across 11 acres of wildland and threatened several nearby structures.
Fire crews used a helicopter to drop multiple loads of water, and an air tanker dropped flame retardant on the edge of the fire closest to threatened homes. No damages were reported.