A fire engulfed a former bunkhouse in downtown Haines Tuesday evening. Officials say it appears no one was hurt. They are still investigating the cause of the fire that took more than two hours to extinguish.
Fire Department Chief Greg Palmieri was on the scene Tuesday at the burnt-out house on 2nd Avenue and Union Street. He said the department was alerted of the fire at about 5 p.m.
“We got a call, the building was fully involved, it was a defensive attack from the beginning,” Palmieri said. “It was a total loss. Not that there was a whole lot there.”
Palmieri and Acting Police Chief Josh Dryden said the building was formerly used as a bunkhouse for L.A.B. Flying Service pilots. Interim Borough Manager Brad Ryan said the house was abandoned.
Haines pilot Layton Bennett founded L.A.B. He died early this year at age 96. Ryan said the building is apparently still under the ownership of Bennett’s family.
Fire Chief Palmieri said he doesn’t think anyone was inside the building at the time of the fire.
“I’m hoping that we don’t find any evidence that there was anybody in there,” Palmieri said. “That’ll be great if that’s the case. And I think it is. So far my inspection hasn’t shown anything.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, officials did not know what caused the fire.