Woman charged with arson in Turnagain neighborhood house fire

Anchorage firefighters have responded to the scene of a house fire in the Turnagain neighborhood.
Anchorage firefighters have responded to the scene of a house fire in the Turnagain neighborhood.(Alaska's News Source / Kim Daehnke)
Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 5:09 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - An Anchorage woman is accused of setting a West Anchorage house on fire and faces multiple charges, according to court documents.

According to charging documents, 37-year-old Wendy Seltenreich was charged with first-degree arson and third-degree arson, as well as first-degree criminal mischief and violating conditions of release following a house fire on Loussac Drive in the Turnagain neighborhood on Oct. 18.

According to Anchorage Fire Department Assistant Chief Alex Boyd, no people were injured during the house fire. The fire department responded with 13 units to battle the blaze at around 10 a.m., on Oct. 18. Police and firefighters responding to the fire reported smoke billowing up from the home visible from miles away, according to the charging documents.

According to the documents, multiple neighbors “reported hearing loud booms and seeing heavy billows of smoke and flames” coming from the home.

One of the people living there reported being woken up by his dog in the basement of the home to find the room full of smoke. He was able to escape with his dog through the back door. Authorities say the man “observed the first floor of the residence on fire after exiting and indicated that he was in fear for his life since he had not been aware the residence was on fire.”

The fire followed a disturbance early on the morning of Oct. 18 that was reported to Anchorage Police, though no arrests were made at the time. A woman who lived in the home returned to the scene of the fire, and according to charging documents said that Seltenreich had “told her she had set the house on fire and to go get her dog.” Seltenreich had also set a backpack on fire in a separate vehicle, court documents state.

Seltenreich was later arrested on Muldoon Road and subsequently charged. The home sustained “significant fire damage” according to the charges.

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