ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Latest on the deaths of five children in a fire northeast of Anchorage (all times local):

4:40 p.m.

A man who lives next door to a trailer where a fire killed five girls between the ages of 3 and 12 called them the “sweetest girls in the world.”

Ron Alcock says they would always be over at his trailer playing with his children, and their dogs would also be out playing.

Alcock says he has a very difficult task ahead of him tonight, telling his daughters what happened to their friends on Thursday morning.

Alcock says he saw lights in the trailer next door as he left for work at 4:30 a.m. He says that was unusual.

He says that even though that was odd, he knew the man living there had just taken a new job.


2:50 p.m.

Fire officials in a suburban area northeast of Anchorage continue to investigate a fire in a mobile home that claimed the lives of five girls between the ages of 3 and 12.

Officials are not releasing much information, saying they have a complicated investigation ahead of them. It’s not immediately known if the girls were related or if there were adults in the trailer home at the time of the fire.

Alaska Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Megan Peters says interviews are being conducted, and the fire marshal is working to determine the cause of the fire.

She says they want to determine the cause because “no one wants this repeated.”

The state medical examiner in Anchorage will conduct autopsies to determine the cause of death, whether it was fire, smoke inhalation or another factor.

Fire departments were called about 7 a.m. Thursday. Responding crews found the trailer fully engulfed. There were no other reported injuries


10:55 a.m.

Authorities say the remains of five children have been found in the rubble of a trailer home in Alaska.

Alaska State Troopers say in a web posting that the victims are all believed to be girls ranging in age from 3 to 12.

The bodies were found after a fire Thursday destroyed the trailer home about 35 miles (56 kilometers) northeast of Anchorage. Officials had initially said there were three victims and two other people were unaccounted for.

Other details of the fire weren’t immediately available, and troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters didn’t immediately return calls to The Associated Press.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire.


10:23 a.m.

Three people were killed and two others are missing in a house fire in a suburban area northeast of Anchorage.

Alaska State Troopers in a web posting confirmed the three deaths and said efforts to find the other two people were underway.

Troopers and the Alaska Fire Marshal’s office were notified of the fire in the Butte area about 7 a.m. Thursday.

No other details were immediately available.

The Butte, as it is called, is a suburban area that is home to about 3,500 residents. It’s located in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, about 35 miles northeast of Anchorage.