One Fatality In Downtown House Fire

     A house fire near downtown Homer Friday filled the skies with thick smoke, as numerous emergency responders converged on the scene. One person was killed in the fire.

     Homer Police Chief Mark Robl says the call came in shortly before 11 a.m. Friday morning. A 911 caller reported that a residence at 478 Rainbow Court – off Kachemak Way near downtown Homer – was on fire.

     Homer Police and the Homer Volunteer Fire Department were quickly on the scene, followed by crews and equipment from Kachemak Emergency Services, the Alaska Division of Forestry and Alaska State Troopers. 

     Robl confirmed that a body was found inside the residence, in a back hallway near a bedroom.

     "We can't positively identify the body until the autopsy is performed," said Robl.

     Robl says the name of the person has not yet been released because next of kin has not yet been notified. He said the body was an adult but he did not know if it was male or female.

     He says that when police and firefighters arrived in the scene, the back part of the house was fully engulfed in flames.

     "We had flames going above some of the neighboring spruce trees," he said. "We had some concerns that it could get into the vegetated area to the north of the house."

      Bob Cicciarella is chief of Kachemak Emergency Services. He says KESA responded to the fire with a fire engine, an ambulance and a rescue vehicle. 

     Cicciarella says the main damage of the fire was in the right-rear corner of the house, where a bedroom is located. He says fire crews were able to control the fire pretty quickly but many of them remained on the scene for much of the afternoon Friday.

     Robl says the state fire marshal will handle the investigation of the cause of the fire, assisted by the Homer Volunteer Fire Department.