2 dozen forced out by fire

EVERETT — An unattended candle sparked a fire Wednesday morning at the historic Strand Hotel building in downtown Everett.

The blaze displaced about more than two dozen people who live in apartments on the upper floors of the three-story building. No injuries were reported.

The fire caused about $230,000 in damage, city spokeswoman Kate Reardon said.

Firefighters were summoned just after 9 a.m. and arrived to find smoke coming from the upper floor of the building, Reardon said. Fire crews called for additional help because of the heavy smoke.

Three businesses on the street level of the building were emptied, along with two upper floors of apartments.

A ladder truck hoisted a firefighter to the roof to cut holes in the building to fight the blaze. The fire was extinguished about an hour after the first crews arrived.

The fire started in a second-floor apartment, Reardon said. There was smoke damage throughout the building and fire gutted three apartments.

Representatives from the Snohomish County chapter of the American Red Cross assisted people who live and work in the building. An Everett Transit bus was brought in to give people temporary shelter on a rainy morning. Emergency workers also opened up a shelter at a downtown church for people displaced by the fire. About two dozen people were expected to stay overnight at the shelter.

Everett Fire Marshal Rick Robinson noted that the people in the building were quick to respond.

“We learned that the residents living here have really bonded over a long period of time and they were extremely good about knocking on doors to make sure neighbors were alerted to the fire,” Robinson said.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

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