Person killed in Homer house fire

One person died in a house fire in downtown Homer this morning. When firefighters arrived, the home on Rainbow Court was fully engulfed in flames. Before firefighters arrived, a neighbor tried to get in to save the home’s single occupant, but was unsuccessful.

Firefighters also were unable to save the person.

The name of the person has not been released by authorities because next of kin have not been notified.

Joe Brunner, who lives across the street from the two-story home, said a woman up the hill had called him when she saw smoke coming from the home. Brunner told her to call 911 and went to the house. The fire was called in about 10:45 a.m. today.

Brunner said he checked the back door from near where the flames were coming and called the person’s name, but got no response. Brunner than went inside the house and again called the person’s name. Smoke 3- to 4-feet thick covered the room, he said.

“I had to go back out,” Brunner said. “I couldn’t breathe.”

Units from the Homer Volunteer Fire Department, Kachemak Emergency Services and the Alaska Division of Forestry responded with at least 15 firefighters and two tankers at the scene. Homer Police and Alaska State Troopers provided traffic control. Thick rows of alder trees surrounded the property.

Flames about 50 feet and taller rose up from the back of the two-story house. Firefighters ran hoses from a hydrant on Kachemak Way, the nearest main street. Tankers, fire engines, utility trucks and an ambulance filled the side street. The fire did not spread to nearby structures. Workers with the Homer Electric Association also responded to cut power to the house.

Firefighters were still working the fire as of 12:30 p.m. The state fire marshal has been notified and an investigation will be started.

This is a developing story.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at