Fire Destroys Kivalina’s Only Store

A fire destroyed Kivalina’s only store early Friday morning, leaving the Northwest Alaska village of 400 without all the food and supplies that were stored there.

Download Audio

Colleen Swan with Kivalina’s volunteer fire department says she got the call around 1 o’clock this morning, but when firefighters arrived, the blaze had already engulfed the roof. Nothing could be done to save the store, so responders focused on preventing the fire from spreading to nearby buildings. Troopers are traveling to Kivalina to investigate the cause.

One volunteer firefighter was medevaced after being sprayed with flame retardant, but has since returned home uninjured.

Swan says the village’s entire stock of food and supplies was destroyed, though hardware and non-food items stored separately in a warehouse were not damaged.