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Local Shismaref GoFundMe Organized to Aid Victims of House Fire

Man in green kuspuk holds green bottle while standing on beach on cloudy day
Tyler Ivanoff holds the message-in-a-bottle he found near Shishmaref. Photo: Tyler Ivanoff, used with permission.

A local Shishmaref fundraiser is aiding residents who lost their home in a fire early Sunday morning. Law enforcement say other crimes took place leading up to the blaze that same day.

Early Sunday morning Alaska State Troopers (AST) in Nome received a report of a domestic violence assault in Shishmaref. 

Speaking to Troopers on the phone, the caller alleged that 35-year-old Ward Kakoona of Shishmaref had assaulted someone. According to AST, the victim of the assault was able to escape, but returned to confront Kakoona with a male family member. AST alleges that Kakoona then proceeded to assault the family member.

The AST report details that Kakoona was spooked off by the local VPSO and fled on a snow machine. Both victims were taken to the Shishmaref clinic to be treated for their injuries. While at the clinic they learned that their residence was on fire. The community was able to extinguish the fire before troopers arrived on scene. No one was harmed as a result of the fire.

Tyler Ivanoff of Shishmaref has organized a GoFundMe following what occurred Sunday in an effort to raise funds to support the family. Ivanoff says Fred Goodhope’s house was completely lost in the fire along with his hunting supplies, subsistence meat, and gear from his reindeer herding days. Anyone who is interested in donating winter clothes or money to Goodhope can go online to Ivanoff’s social media account.

At 7am Sunday morning Troopers arrested Kakoona on Assault and Arson charges. At this time there are no other individuals suspected to be involved.

Image at top: Tyler Ivanoff holds the message-in-a-bottle he found near Shishmaref. Photo: Tyler Ivanoff, used with permission.

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