Cause of Auke Bay boat fire cited as undetermined

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The cause of the early morning fire June 27 that sunk a boat at the harbor in Auke Bay is going to be described as "undetermined."

    That's according to to Capital City Fire Rescue Chief Rich Etheridge on Action Line Thursday who says they are now reviewing a final report.

    "The reason for that is that there are multiple possibilities  that can't be ruled out," the chief said..  "It could still possibly be arson.  There's also other natural causes that we can't completely eliminate."  He said that could include mechanical and electrical problems.  "The only way you can call it arson is if all natural causes can be eliminated.  Once those have been eliminated, then you can start looking at arson."

    When asked  how  much more difficult it is to determine the cause since the boat sank, the chief said,  "It really compounds things when you shake a boat upside down and stick it at the bottom of the ocean for a few days."

    The chief said  they are conducting a joint investigation with the Coast Guard and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact the Fire Marshal at 586-0260 or police at 586-0600.



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