Downtown house fire still under investigation, federal fire investigators look into possible cause

By September 26, 2017Juneau, Public Safety
EMTs work on patients during a house fire at 526 Seward Street on Sept. 17, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Brian Wallace)

EMTs work on patients during a house fire at 526 Seward Street on Sept. 17, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Brian Wallace)

Federal investigators are now helping pin down the cause and origin of this month’s fatal house fire at 526 Seward Street.

Electrical components from the house’s second floor are being sent to the Seattle office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. From there, they’ll be passed on to a laboratory where federal fire investigators will take a closer look.

Two brothers from Mexico died in the Sept. 17 fire: “Wilfrido” Luis Román Olivarría Mora, 34, and Adrian de Jesus Olivarría Mora, 21. Seven other people, including four firefighters, were injured.

Juneau Fire Marshal Dan Jager said the Juneau Police Department notified ATF because of the fire’s fatalities. ATF, in turn, expressed an interest in the case and offered to help.

Jager said they’re sending down remains of an exterior porch light, an interior switch for the light, and an exterior electrical outlet. All three items were removed from near the second floor balcony at the rear of the house where he suspects the fire may have started.

It’ll take federal investigators at least two weeks to examine the electrical components.

Meanwhile, Jager said he’s still doing interviews and gathering information for the investigation, and he appreciates the pictures and video that Juneau residents are sending him.

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