Both investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s Office have finished their on-scene work at the Polaris Hotel and are returning to Anchorage. As of today, there is no preliminary report yet of what caused the fire.
Nome Fire Chief Jim West, Jr., says firefighter crews were spraying down more hotspots yesterday at the site of the Polaris building. West mentioned that when winds shift and embers covered by metal within the building remains are sparked, then hot spots happen. Currently all hot spots have been sprayed down and taken care of.
As investigators and others searched through the debris, no other bodies have been found, so there is still just one confirmed fatality. West says initially two people who were staying at the Polaris were not accounted for, but they were eventually located in Shishmaref.
Both the Red Cross and the Norton Sound Health Corporation have been helping people displaced from the Polaris fire through bake sales and other means.
A claims adjuster with the building’s insurance company is set to arrive in Nome next week. West believes the debris from the Polaris Hotel will then be transported to the landfill after the adjuster’s visit.
Image at top: the Polaris fire site on Thursday, Nov. 2. Photo courtesy of John Handeland.