Cantwell Fire Injures Five, Gale Anderson Sent to Harborview, Seattle for Burns
Gale Andersen, 61, of Cantwell, has now been flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after she received significant burns in the explosion and fire at the Cantwell Chevron Station on the George C. Parks Highway at Cantwell, Alaska. Alaska State Troopers Fairbanks dispatch got the report of an explosion inside the station at about 6 o’clock p.m. on Sunday, December 4, 2011. Another employee, Samuel Allan, 26, of Cantwell, was transported to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital (FMH) via Nenana Fire/EMS Volunteer Department the night of the fire. Samuel returned to the interior of the station, making sure that all were out of the building.
Also injured at the site of the explosion and fire were Allen Glore, 58, of Cantwell, Mathew Atkinson, 43, of Fairbanks; and Judith Riley, 70 of North Pole. Allen Glore was transported to FMH but then on to Providence Hospital in Anchorage, Alaska, Mathew Atkinson was treated on the scene, and Judith Riley was transported to FMH.
The explosion blew out windows and blew debris out into the parking lot, and other large items like garbage cans were blown out past the gas station island which extends out a considerable distance away from the store. Fortunately, the gas pumps did not ignite in the searing blaze that followed the explosion. Troopers arrived to find the store ablaze already.
“Tri-Valley Volunteer Fire Department, Cantwell Volunteer Fire Department, Denali National Park Service EMS, McKinley Village Fire Station, Nenana EMS and Talkeetna EMS responded to help fight the fire and transport patients,” says Beth Ipsen, Information Officer for Alaska State Troopers. “The volunteer fire departments in Anderson and Nenana were put on standby to cover other emergency calls along the Parks Highway. Workers from the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities responded to help troopers with crowd control, directing traffic and clearing vehicles from the parking lot. Three Alaska State Troopers and an Alaska Wildlife Trooper from the posts along the Parks Highway responded to help coordinate efforts to get the injured to medical facilities and to contain the fire to the convenience store as much as possible. A diesel tank that provides heat to the building also burned in the fire. The store continued burning throughout the night and was extinguished this morning.”
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