Ketchikan Fire Department’s Engine 1 is shown in 2020. (Eric Stone/KRBD)

No one was hurt in a house fire in the Carlanna Lake Road area of Ketchikan Friday morning. Firefighters credit a closed bedroom door with saving most of the home.


Acting Ketchikan Fire Chief Scott Brainard says the fire department got a call shortly before 7:30 a.m. reporting a mattress fire at a duplex on Garden Lane.

He says the fire department dispatched trucks from two fire stations in city limits, plus crews with the North and South Tongass Volunteer Fire Departments. Brainard says after ensuring everyone was out safely, firefighters went on offense.

“Crews attacked the fire from two directions and knocked the fire down in a quick amount of time,” Brainard said.

The fire was limited to a single room — what firefighters call a “room-and-contents” fire, according to Brainard.

“The door was closed, and so the fire stayed within that room. It didn’t spread as fast as it could through the rest of the house because the door was closed,” he said.

He says one side of the door was completely charred. On the other, paint was still visible.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but Brainard says early signs point to a “heating device next to the bed.”

Resident Colleen Coggins says she was staying temporarily at a friend’s house a few streets over when she heard sirens Friday morning. She says it was her nephew who had been sleeping in the room where the fire started.

“I just really am glad everything’s OK, everybody’s OK. Things are going to get fixed, and it’ll be fine,” she said.

Even the cat — his name is Mister — made it out unharmed.

Brainard credits acting Ketchikan Fire Department Captain William Schulz with leading a successful response. Brainard estimates roughly two dozen firefighters and police officers contributed to the effort. He says it’s a good reminder for residents to check their smoke detectors and practice escape drills.