North Pole Industrial Building Burns to the Ground

FAIRBANKS, Alaska - A mechanic bay off the Richardson highway burnt to the ground earlier this week after a fire started inside one of the parked trucks.
Shortly before 10 PM Wednesday, an off-duty firefighter saw smoke coming from the Alaska Industrial Building.
The North Star Volunteer Fire Department was called to the scene, and the crew found the over 6-thousand square foot building full of heat and smoke.
Six other fire stations were called to help, and it wasn't long until the entire structure was engulfed in flames.
At that point, Assistant Chief, Dan Kuhnert, changed the focus to save a nearby office building and an outside coal burner.
The company's maintenance crew also arrived and was able to move the semi-trucks parked near the building, as well as operate a front end loader to pull out the steel after the building collapsed so firefighters could continue to suppress the flames.
Kuhnert says the bay had multiple settling tanks, fuel tanks, barrels of oil, and mechanical equipment that all supercharged the fire.
No one was hurt during the incident, and crews stayed on location, spraying around 65-thousand gallons of water until 5 AM.
Dan Kuhnhert; Assistant Fire Chief - North Star Volunteer Fire Department>>: "Initially we had firefighters in the both the backside and both the left and right sides of the building to suppress the fire, but the fire had been going on too long and it just wasn't able to be saved. So then it became, using the resources the best we could to get the fire suppressed enough on the right side of the building next to the office building. The office was only about three feet away from the building, so anytime a building that size is going up, it's really hard to keep any adjacent buildings from also starting on fire, so we utilized North Pole's 110 foot platform to put an areal water supply up as well as firefighters on the ground on both sides to keep the fire from entering the office building."
Kuhnert says it's extremely important for businesses to have some kind of security system that alerts authorities of smoke or fire in the building.
He says had it not been for the off-duty firefighter calling 911, the entire place, including the office building, would have been lost.