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By ZACHARY HALASCHAK
Daily News Staff Writer
About two dozen firefighters responded to house fire at a two-story residence on Lincoln Court on Tuesday afternoon.
The call came in a little after 3 p.m. When the Daily News arrived around 3:30 p.m., flames were still visible, with smoke billowing out of the downstairs portion and a window of the building.
Police blocked off Lincoln Street and were directing traffic on Jackson Street as they contended with the traffic associated with nearby schools letting out around that time.
Asst. Fire Chief Scott Brainard told the Daily News following the fire that the cause of the blaze was yet to be determined, but he added that investigators were on the scene as of 6:30 p.m. and that the origin appeared to be on the first floor of the building.
“At approximately 3:20 p.m. this afternoon we responded to a residential structure that was reported to have a fire in an apartment, units from Ketchikan Fire Department, the North Tongass Fire Department and South Tongass Fire Department responded,” Brainard said. “The first-in units found fire coming out of a first floor window on the first floor, there was smoke that was charging the house clear up to the second floor.”
Brainard said that firefighters did a primary and secondary search of the residence after beginning to tackle the fire and found no residents in the structure.
The owner of the residence, Nicomi Pahang, said that her daughter had just come home from school and entered the building, but promptly retreated upon realizing the extent of the fire.
Pahang said that her daughter was “pretty shook up” but safe. She also confirmed that their dog made it out of the fire safely.
Tom Kroscavage, who lives across from the residence, told the Daily News that he was in his house when he realized his neighbor’s residence was on fire. He said he attempted to help put out the fire with a hose attached to his house, but noted that the hose wouldn’t reach across the street.
Kroscavage said that he saw smoke pouring out of the lower section of the residence. He said that the building was a duplex with an apartment unit on the bottom.
“There’s an apartment right here, and it was coming out of that apartment,” Kroscavage said, pointing in the direction of the downstairs portion of the smoking residence.
Brainard said that after the fire was extinguished, around 4 p.m., damage to the structure was apparent.
“Extensive damage in the room of origin, and heavy smoke and heat damage throughout the house,” he said.
According to Brainard, the Red Cross is currently taking care of the residents of the building.