Fire Caused by Electrical Heater in Nome Apartment

Two men looking at a building that has signs of fire.

An electrical fire on Wednesday caused no injuries but did some significant damage to the apartment units at 603 Seppala Drive in Nome.

Nome Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Department Chief Jim West Jr. said the emergency call came in just after 12:30 Wednesday afternoon. The woman living in the front apartment smelled burning.

“She had a little electric heater going on because she had just come into town and the water was froze up so she was trying to get a little heat back in there.”

– Chief West Jr.

Both the woman and the family in the back apartment of the two-unit house had to evacuate. But West Jr. said no one was injured or taken to the hospital.

Chief West Jr. says it took the NVFD crew about one hour to fully extinguish the blaze.

“It was caught in between the ceiling and there was another chase-way that they were chasing it through, but now we want to make sure with the storm coming on that we don’t have to come back.”

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the Nome area with 50 mile an hour winds through today that could exacerbate any lingering fire.

On initial observations, West Jr. says he thinks there is “quite a bit” of damage from water, flame, and smoke to the interior of the building.

Image at Top: First responders survey the building after the initial fire subsided. Emily Hofstaedter, KNOM 2020.