Large Fire Burns throughout Weekend in Emmonak

Smoke billows from the blaze that destroyed three Kwikpac buildings and two buildings belonging to Yukon Marine Manufacturing building over the weekend. Image-Alaska State Troopers

Smoke billows from the blaze that destroyed three Kwikpac buildings and two buildings belonging to Yukon Marine Manufacturing building over the weekend. Image-Alaska State Troopers

A fire that started in the office area of a Kwikpac Fisheries warehouse in Emmonak on Saturday afternoon, quickly grew in size to envelope and destroy five buildings in that community as the fire raged throughout the weekend, troopers reported.

Troopers and the community’s VPSO were notified of smoke pouring from a window from one of the warehouses at the Kwikpac processing plant at 1:28 pm on Saturday.

When troopers and the VPSO arrived at the location, they secured the area, evacuated building near the fire, and organized fire-fighting efforts. But, troopers report that “Fire suppression efforts of the building were unsuccessful due to failed and inoperable equipment.” The responders were also unable to access water from the river to douse the flames because of lack of ice augers.

The fire burned, unchecked and as the afternoon progressed, spread to two other bunkhouse buildings near the warehouse. As the fire continued to rage into the evening, two more buildings, belonging to Yukon Marine Manufacturing, caught fire and burned to the ground.

All five of the buildings were completely destroyed in the fire that burned through the weekend. Although there were no reported injuries in the blaze, damage estimates are thought to be approximately $3,000,000.

The impact to the village of approximately 800, and the surrounding communities, will be heavy, as many of the region’s inhabitants of the Yukon Delta worked at the processing plant during the summer months when the company employs up to 2,000 workers.

Troopers do not believe foul play was a factor in the fire.