The fire caused extensive damage to the second floor apartment. (Photo by Henry Leasia)

A fire broke out Monday evening at an apartment complex in Haines. One resident was injured while escaping the flames. Firefighters extinguished the blaze and contained most of the damage to one apartment. 

The Haines Volunteer Fire Department responded to a structure fire on Mathias Avenue around 9:30 p.m. on Monday. According to assistant fire chief Darwin Feakes, the fire burned one of the four apartments in the complex. 

“It looks like it started right outside the apartment and spread through the door and a window alongside the door into the apartment,” Feakes said. “We’re unsure of the origin of the fire. We believe it may be related to discarded smoking materials.”

Two people were in the apartment at the time. None of the other apartments in the complex were occupied. Feakes said that the two residents escaped the fire before emergency responders arrived on the scene. 

The exterior of the Mathias Avenue apartment complex. (Photo by Henry Leasia)

“The two that were in the apartment that was involved, they literally had to jump out of a second floor window to the ground. One of them was injured, the other was not.”

Feakes said the injured resident was taken to the local clinic, but he could not provide any more information about their status.  

The fire department received reports of explosions coming from the complex before they arrived but could not identify the source.

“It could’ve been anything from spray cans that were cleaners or whatever in the house exploding. We have no idea. None of that happened when we were on scene, but that was reported to us,” Feakes said.

18 Fire and EMS volunteers and two policemen responded to the fire. Firefighters battled the blaze for about an hour. They managed to save the residents’ pet rabbit from the flames.

Most of the damage was contained to the second floor apartment. The front room was completely destroyed and the bedrooms were damaged by smoke. Feakes says the building’s structure is sound and expects the owner will be able to renovate it for future use. 

Red Cross has been contacted to try to find temporary housing for the residents of the apartment complex.