Alaskan borough declares disaster after fire station fire

  • Source: Alaska Public Media
  • Published: 04/23/2024 12:00 AM

The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly voted last week to enact a disaster declaration for the recent station fire that devastated the South Tongass Fire Department. Mayors from the borough and cities of Saxman and Ketchikan issued the disaster declaration on April 12. South Tongass Fire Chief Steve Rydeen choked up as he took the podium at the Assembly’s April 15 meeting. “Normally, you see a grumpy old guy with no emotion. Tonight, it’s a little different. For the last 12 years I have poured my heart and soul into this department, only to have what happened happen,” Rydeen told the Assembly. Rydeen was traveling out of Ketchikan when the fire broke out in the early morning of April 9. He said he received a series of calls from the company that manages the department’s fire alarm system just before 2:30 a.m.


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