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UPDATE: ATF team investigates hotel fire in Anchorage, APD asks for information

 (Courtesy Weylin Nelson)
(Courtesy Weylin Nelson) (KTUU)
Published: Jan. 26, 2019 at 8:41 AM AKST
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Update: Tuesday, Jan. 29:

Anchorage Police are asking for help from anyone who may know anything about Saturday morning's fire at the under-construction Courtyard by Marriott Hotel.

The Anchorage Fire Department says the structure is considered a massive loss with an estimate of $20 million in damage, and damage to structures in the surrounding area.

Anyone with any information, including video from smartphones or surveillance systems, is asked to call Anchorage Police Dispatch at 311.

UPDATE: Monday 1/28/19

Officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives are in Anchorage because of a massive fire over the weekend at a hotel that was under construction.

"Anchorage does have qualified fire investigators for this, but when we bring in a team of about 24 people, we're able to knock this out in a very quick amount of time" said Jason Chudy the public information officer for the ATF Seattle Division.

While they couldn't speak to the specifics of that fire, ATF officials did say that they are able to help Anchorage's investigators in large events like this one and the Royal Suite Lodge fire nearly two years ago.

ATF officials say it's still too early to determine the origin and cause of the fire at the hotel construction site in midtown Anchorage Saturday morning.

Original story:

A massive fire closed C Street between Tudor and International as firefighters battle the blaze at a hotel that was under construction. As of 8:40 a.m. APD says the road is again open.

The flames were big enough to be visible from the Anchorage Hillside, and photos shared with Channel 2 showed smoke billowing into the sky.

(Video courtesy John Lamont)

The blaze put off enough heat to melt Motel 6's plastic signage and burst several windows located in rooms the adjacent to the fire.

Police and firefighters were called to the fire just after 5 a.m. Anchorage Fire Department deployed every aerial fire truck company in the city to combat the flames.

According to AFD Captain, Zach Weston, the structure was unoccupied. Fire crews had to break locks on the construction fencing to gain access to the property. One fire fighter was sent to the hospital with unknown injuries.

On social media, a man who says he's a guest at a hotel near the fire said the Motel 6, between the burning hotel and his hotel, had been evacuated.

An absolutely surreal morning in #Anchorage. The unfinished hotel a half block from us exploded and the subsequent #fire...

Posted by Aaron Fung on Saturday, January 26, 2019

Channel 2 spoke with several other motel 6 guests with morning, who were asked to relocate to the nearby Fairfield Inn for about an hour while firefighters works to contain the flames.

AFD is expected to be working the scene throughout the day.

This is a developing story.
This story previously mentioned which hotel franchise the building was meant to be -- the hotel that burned is next to that hotel.