A fire ignited inside the Fairbanks Fire Department headquarters over the weekend. FFD says the engine compartment of a light duty SUV, which is used by the Battalion Chief, caught fire while sitting inside the garage bay. The fire station’s sprinkler system activated, keeping the blaze under control until an available fire engine could respond from Station 3, the Aurora station. FFD says all personnel stationed at the headquarters were out of active medical calls when the car fire began. Two personnel in quarters began taking measures to attack the fire but could not engage until additional support arrived.
The cause remains under investigation, though no foul play is suspected. No injuries were reported. FFD says the extent of the damage to the station is still being determined, but direct fire damages were limited to the bay. Some smoke damage extended into other areas of the building. In a Facebook post, the Fairbanks Firefighters Union, blamed short staffing, saying “Every year the number of simultaneous EMS calls in the city increase. When crews are on multiple EMS calls the City has almost no fire protection… Short staffing is a major issue for the safety of residence (sic) in Fairbanks.“