the seal of a fire department
The seal of the Anchorage Fire Department. (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)

Anchorage police say an Eagle River couple is dead after a neighbor in their apartment building intentionally set fire to it early Saturday.

That’s according to murder and arson charges against Christopher Ricker, 29.

Firefighters responding to the 20-unit building a little after 2 a.m. Saturday found Alan and Linda Borowski’s bodies in their apartment, charges said. Two other residents had to jump from a second-floor window to escape.

Surveillance video from across the street that appear to show someone lighting the fire led detectives to Ricker. According to the charges, Ricker admitted to lighting a bag of trash on fire in an attempt to burn the building, giving various reasons, including that he wanted attention and that damaging it would allow him to remodel his apartment.

According to the charges, the majority of the building was destroyed by fire or damaged by smoke.

The charges said Ricker told detectives he did not expect the whole building to go up in flames.

Ricker remained in jail Monday.

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Casey Grove is host of Alaska News Nightly and a general assignment reporter at Alaska Public Media. cgrove [at] alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.550.8446 | About Casey