Fur tannery burns, explodes in Fairbanks

Fairbanks Fur Tannery fire of Dec. 15, 2023. Photo credit: Unknown.

Fairbanks Fur Tannery, owned by Board of Game member Al Barrette of Fairbanks, exploded and burned on Friday night. Located on Peger Road, the inferno happened in what was once the Bachner Air Services/ Texaco hangar. The explosion and blaze was witnessed by several people from as far away as Farmers Loop.

Early reports indicate that no one was in the building at the time of the fire. Fire trucks were on the scene after 6:30 pm, and the outside temperature was around -6. Observers in the area said the explosion was just before 8 pm.

Barrette was appointed to the Board of Game by Gov. Mike Dunleavy in 2019. He is a fur dresser by trade, a Class A assistant big game guide, and a veteran of the U.S. Army. He has been involved in fish and game regulatory matters since the 1990s, and has been a member of several working groups, including the Fortymile Harvest Management Coalition, the Western Arctic Caribou Herd Working Group, the Wood Bison Restoration Advisory Group, and the Dall Sheep Working Group.

This story will be updated as more information is available.


  1. What a cryin’ shame. That hangar was an iconic part of Fairbanks; for decades it was “Hangar No. 1” at Phillips Field, Fairbanks’ classic little General Aviation field.

  2. Look at all that smoke. Are they going to try and capture all that carbon? I feel it getting warmer already.

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