Cause of fire at historic Seattle building still a mystery

SEATTLE — The cause of a fire in a century-old International District building is likely to remain a mystery because of structural damage, the Seattle Fire Department said Thursday.

Spokesman Kyle Moore said investigators can’t get access to the areas they would need to examine to determine the cause of the dramatic Christmas Eve fire.

None of the eight businesses on the first floor of the burned building will be allowed to reopen until structural engineers say the building is sound.

But city officials do not appear confident that will happen any time soon. Business owners will be allowed back in the building for brief visits to collect things like receipts and insurance policies, Moore said.

Residents in two buildings next door have been allowed back into their homes, but building owners have been ordered to make some changes to allow safe pedestrian access to the area and to block people from going inside the “collapse zone.”

No one lives in the burned building and the top two floors have been uninhabitable for years. Businesses closed by the fire include a bakery, restaurant and aquarium.

The building housed Chinese immigrants in its early days. It’s also known for the 1983 Wah Mee massacre where 13 people were killed by robbers in a gambling club.

More in Local News

Mayor tries new tactic to curb fire department overtime

Stephanson says an engine won’t go into service when the only available staff would be on overtime.

Jamie Copeland is a senior at Cedar Park Christian Schools’ Mountlake Terrace campus. She is a basketball player, ASB president, cheerleader and, of course, a Lion. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Cedar Park Christian senior stepping up to new challenges

Jamie Copeland’s academics include STEM studies, leadership, ASB activities, honor society.

Cheering families welcome Kidd, Shoup after 6 months at sea

“I get back Daddy back today,” said one homemade sign at Naval Station Everett.

Paine Field fire chief will be allowed to retire

In his letter, the airport director noted Jeff Bohnet was leaving while under investigation.

Stanwood man, 33, killed in crash near Marysville

Speed may have been a factor, the sheriff’s department said.

County plans to sue to recoup costs from ballot drop-box law

A quarter-million dollars could be spent adding 19 ballot boxes in rural areas.

Woman, 47, found dead in Marysville jail cell

She’d been in custody about four days after being arrested on warrants, police said.

Lynnwood man allegedly cuts Marysville’s 911 dispatch wires

The man reportedly told police he intended to trade the wires for drugs.

Ian Terry / The Herald Westbound cars merge from Highway 204 and 20th Street Southeast onto the trestle during the morning commute on Thursday, March 30 in Lake Stevens. Photo taken on 03302017
Pay a toll on US 2 trestle? 10,000 say no on social media

A GOP lawmaker’s chart shows theoretical toll rates of up to $6.30 to cross the trestle one way.

Most Read