Alaska processor plans to rebuild after fire

After a massive fire that destroyed five buildings in the Yukon River village of Emmonak last weekend, state officials are en route to investigate and managers for a local fisheries company are scrambling to replace the structures.

Kwik’Pak Fisheries lost three structures to the fire, which was discovered Saturday night but left to burn when equipment failed during initial efforts to fight it. Flames soon spread to two other Kwik’Pak buildings, as well as a pair operated by local boat builder Yukon Marine Manufacturing. No injuries were reported, but Alaska State Troopers said the fire did at least $3 million in damage.

Jack Schultheis, Kwik’Pak’s manager, said Tuesday trooper William Connors and Emmonak village public safety officer Jay Levan, plus the company’s caretaker employees, constituted the full response to the fire Saturday. Staff at the Emmonak city offices said no local officials were available to comment on the fire Tuesday morning.

“The trooper and the VPSO were the only two governmental types fighting the fire,” Schultheis said. “The people we had there, which totaled four people fighting the fire for lack of equipment, did everything they could.”

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About the author

Jessica Hathaway

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 13 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.

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