Although the cause of the fire in Ketchikan is still under investigation, Alaska State Troopers have located remains within the wreckage that they believe to be 49-year-old Ralph Smith.
Smith was reported to have exited his home late on Wednesday afternoon only to tell a family member that the house was on fire. He then got into his vehicle and drove a short distance down the road and blockaded access to his house by parking perpendicular to the road. Smith had a firearm with him the he shot off a couple of rounds with witnesses say.
Although witnesses said that they lost track of Smith and did not see where he went after shooting of his weapon, troopers now believe that he re-entered the burning building and perished in the flames.
The remains found in the fire debris have been sent to the State Medical Examiner’s office in Anchorage for autopsy and to determine a positive identification.
Next of kin have been notified.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.