UPDATE: Downtown Casper Fire Remains Under Investigation
The Wednesday night fire at the apartment located above Alpenglow Natural Foods downtown remains under investigation, according to a press release from the Casper Fire-EMS department on Thursday.
Firefighters responded to the report of the fire at 109 E. Second St., at 9:20 p.m., and found smoke coming from the second story apartment and spreading into surrounding businesses, according to the press release from Casper Fire-EMS spokesman Dane Anderson.
They found the fire in the apartment, and put it out amid heavy smoke and heat conditions. Units remained in the 100 block of East Second Street for several hours early Thursday morning, clearing smoke from the affected apartment, and checking all surrounding buildings.
All occupants of the apartment were evacuated successfully, but one resident was taken to Wyoming Medical Center for treatment. The resident's condition is not known at this time.
Two cats found in the apartment did not survive.
The press release did not give a damage estimate.
Casper Police Sgt. Zack Winter said Wednesday night that there did not appear to be any foul play or criminal activity at that time.
Douglas Soper is the quiz master for the weekly Wednesday quiz night at the Frontier Brewing Co., which is immediately east of Alpenglow.
Shortly after 9 p.m., some of the patrons sitting near the door smelled smoke, Soper said, and somebody made a comment, "'does anybody smell that?'"
A person went outside, came in and said, "'I think next door is on fire,'" he said.
"As the person running the event for the evening, instead of waiting to find out I just told everybody, 'It appears that next door might be on fire, let's all go outside,'" Soper said.
There were probably 100 people inside, they reacted calmly, and walked to the north side of the street when firefighters arrived, he said.
"Everybody did really well," Soper said. "Everybody evacuated, they did so well."
As soon as the first responders arrived, the patrons moved to the north side of the street.
The firefighters worked on the fire from inside the building and he did not see them shoot water on it, he said.
Soper hoped the store will survive, he said. "Alpenglow is a great thing for this town to have."
Casper Fire-EMS spokesman Anderson said seven units from his department responded, plus officers from the Casper Police Department, an inspector/investigator from the Natrona County Fire Protection District, and two ambulances from the Wyoming Medical Center.
Casper Fire-EMS and the Natrona County Fire Protection District are conducting the investigation, Anderson said.
He also reminded people that working smoke alarms save lives, and cut the risk of death in a fire by half. They should be installed and maintained in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.
Larger homes may require more smoke alarms to provide a minimum level of protection, and smoke alarms should be installed in all rental housing, Anderson said.
Test smoke alarms every month by pushing the test button..
Contact your landlord, property manager, or Casper Fire-EMS for help, Anderson said.