One of the most beloved citizens of Port Protection, Alaska, has passed away. Gary Muehlberger was one of seven people featured on the Life Below Zero spinoff Port Protection, and he was universally adored. He was a leader and a legend within the community who lived a life to be admired.
Life Below Zero has announced his passing, which caused many fans to question how the cast member died. The announcement came after there was a fire that overtook his residence in Port Protection.
Gary Muehlberger likely died from a fire in his home in Port Protection, Alaska.
According to multiple local reports, the Alaska State Troopers received a report on Wednesday, March 17 around 11:30 a.m. that Gary’s home was completely conquered by fire. Because Gary hasn’t been seen since, it is believed that he was home during the time of the fire.
Many people in the Port Protection community described "seeing human remains in the fire ashes." One Reddit user pointed out that the same conditions that make Port Protection so fascinating to watch are also what makes it dangerous for its residents.
It is believed by many that Gary was fixing up his propane hot water tank and that it exploded in the process. Although Gary likely had a fire extinguisher, it was not nearly enough to put out a propane tank gas explosion. This, along with a lack of an organized fire department and the town’s isolation, make its conditions even more dangerous than we realize.
Many people are celebrating the life of Gary Muehlberger, from fans to friends.
The official Life Below Zero Facebook page wrote a post to remember and honor Gary that said: “We’re extremely saddened to learn of the passing of Gary Muehlberger, a legend to the Port Protection Alaskan community and the Life Below Zero franchise. He had an incredibly big heart, epitomized so much of the human spirit and welcomed the world into his life with open arms. He will be deeply missed.”
In response to this, there were over 2,000 comments from people sharing their condolences and their love for Gary. One comment read, “Gary was my favorite part of the show. He was always on the go and nothing stopped him. He will be missed. Love and prayers for the people who cared about him.”
Another commenter had a personal connection to Gary and wrote, “We are so saddened by this tragedy. We grew up with Gary. We lost my brother to cancer last June and he and Gary were best buds. I hope they are fishing together right now. We loved watching him in Life Below Zero. It was a connection we never imagined we would have. He loved the life he was living. His sense of humor and the twinkle in his eyes were a few of his many undeniable traits. He will be forever missed.”
Port Protection airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on National Geographic.