Man killed in Nikolaevsk fire

An early morning fire on Thursday killed a 46-year-old man at a Nikolaevsk home. After putting out the fire, firefighters found the remains of the man in the single-story ranch home. On Friday, Alaska State Troopers identified the victim as Andres “Andy” Afonasiev of Nikolaevsk. Next of kin has been notified.

Afonasiev was the only person in the home, said Megan Peters, a spokesperson for the Alaska State Troopers.

Afonasiev’s remains were sent to the Alaska Medical Examiners’ Office for identification. Forensic experts used fingerprints to make a positive identification, said Greg Wilkinson, a spokesperson for the Alaska Medical Examiner’s Office and the Department of Health and Social Services.

Numerous people made 911 calls reporting the fire at about 3:30 a.m. Oct. 3, troopers said in a press release. The fire was at a home about halfway down Nikolaevsk Road in the village, Peters said. Firefighters from Anchor Point Emergency Services and Kachemak Emergency Services responded. When firefighters and troopers arrived, the roof had collapsed and the home was fully engulfed in flames. The home burned completely to the ground.

Other buildings were close by, but did not have fire damage, Peters said.

A State Fire Marshall responded from Anchorage to conduct the investigation into the fire. Peters said it is too early to speculate on the cause of the fire or if arson was involved.

“Any time we have a fatal fire, we investigate it thoroughly,” she said. “The State Medical Examiner comes into play as far as how the person died. The fire marshall’s office does its best to determine cause and origin.”
Peters said troopers also are assisting by interviewing witnesses and neighbors.

Nikolaevsk is the original Russian Old Believer village on the Kenai Peninsula and located off the North Fork Road east of Anchor Point.

Thirteen firefighters and emergency medical technicians responded from Kachemak Emergency Services, with two engines, a tanker, a medic unit and a rescue unit. 
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