ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – The Latest on Alaska village jail fire that killed two prisoners and injured guard (all times local):
A leader in an Alaska village says many residents worked through the night to extinguish a jail fire that killed two prisoners and seriously injured a guard who was trying to free them.
KYUK Public Media in Bethel reports the community of Napakiak is in mourning over the early Sunday morning deaths of the prisoners. The victims have tentatively been identified by Alaska State Troopers as 24-year-old Becca White and 22-year-old Isaiah Parka, both of Napakiak.
KYUK reported the two were in custody for driving a four-wheeler while intoxicated Saturday afternoon.
Napakiak City Council member Walter Nelson told KYUK that more than 20 residents were involved in battling the fire.
Nelson calls the deaths “a big tragedy” and says the entire village is grieving.
Troopers say the injured guard was flown out of state for treatment and is listed in serious condition.
Another guard said a prisoner had set fire to a mattress, but it’s unclear how fire-starting materials got into a cell.
Alaska State Troopers say guards couldn’t save two prisoners from a fire that broke out in a village jail this past weekend because they were driven out by heat and smoke.
Trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters said Monday that the jail in the tiny community of Napakiak didn’t have a sprinkler system and it’s unknown if it had working smoke detectors.
A guard said a prisoner had set fire to a mattress, but it’s unclear how fire-starting materials got into a cell.
Troopers say 24-year-old Becca White and 22-year-old Isaiah Parka, both of Napakiak, died in Sunday’s fire.
A guard also was seriously injured and flown out of state for treatment.
Peters says the guards’ names aren’t being released because they’re not employed by the state. She says the village owns the jail building and referred questions to officials there.
Napakiak Mayor Joann Slats declined to comment.
Authorities in Alaska have tentatively identified the two prisoners who died in a village jail fire that also injured a guard who was trying to free them.
Alaska State Troopers say the fire victims in Napakiak are 24-year-old Becca White and 22-year-old Isaiah Parka. The Napakiak residents died Sunday in the fire.
Troopers did not release the name of the injured guard, saying only that that individual was flown out of state and is listed in serious condition.
A second guard reported the blaze was the result of a prisoner setting fire to a mattress, but it was unclear how fire-starting materials got into a cell.
Troopers did not immediately release additional details, including what the victims were in custody for and who operates the jail.