Demolition of Everett’s McCrossen Building on standby

EVERETT — Expect brick piles, heat-warped metal and battered awnings from November’s fatal fire to linger on Hewitt Avenue for many weeks to come, and perhaps longer.

A shared wall with a neighboring building is one of the problems to solve before dismantling what remains of the gutted 1894 McCrossen Building.

A city hearing examiner last month said demolition needs to take place by March 15. The building’s owner, Pete Sikov, acknowledged the looming deadline, but this week offered no specific timetable for getting to work.

“I know that the city has issued an order to do a demolition, so we’re certainly willing to do as they request,” Sikov said.

The three-alarm blaze Nov. 8 left one person dead, two people injured and displaced about 40. It destroyed the historic structure, built originally as a grocery, leaving a heap of rubble in the heart of downtown. In all, the building at the corner of Hewitt and Oakes avenues housed 13 apartments and at least three businesses.

Investigators believe the fire started in the room of 61-year-old Michael D. Beard. His death from smoke inhalation was ruled an accident and nothing led investigators to believe anything suspicious caused the fire.

The extent of the damage to the building meant there was too little information available to pinpoint a cause.

Because remnants of the building are in danger of collapsing, the city hearing examiner ordered a sidewalk cover built last month.

Former McCrossen tenants have been frustrated about not being allowed access to the site to retrieve belongings.

Damage extends to a neighboring building at 1812 Hewitt Ave., which shares a common wall. Russ Hermes, the building’s co-owner, said there needs to be a plan to ensure that his building will remain structurally sound before any demolition can move ahead at the McCrossen Building next door.

“We’re seeking to coordinate with all parties to find a resolution that will save our building, if it can be saved,” Hermes said.

Even if Hermes’ building can be salvaged, he expects repairs to take months.

The fire left a patch of blight in the core of Everett’s business district, right across the street from Comcast Arena.

When the corner is redeveloped, Everett’s downtown zoning rules would allow shops, restaurants, office space or apartments, city planning director Allan Giffen said. The code would prohibit using the land for a parking lot.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465, nhaglund@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Young woman missing from Mukilteo found safe

She called her parents and told them she was at a museum in Seattle.

Mom and brother turn in suspect in Stanwood robberies

The man is suspected of robbing the same gas station twice, and apologizing to the clerk afterward.

Derrick “Wiz” Crawford, 22, is a suspect in the homicide of his roommate. (Edmonds Police Department)
Roommate suspected in Edmonds killing found hiding in closet

Police had been searching for him for 10 days before locating him at a house in Everett.

Video shows man suspected of attacking a woman in Edmonds

The man allegedly threw her on the ground, then ran away after the she began kicking and screaming.

Navy to put filter in Coupeville’s contaminated water system

Chemicals from firefighting foam was found in the town’s drinking water.

Officials to test sanity of suspect in Everett crime spree

He allegedly tried to rob and clobber a transit worker, then fled and struggled with police.

Katharine Graham, then CEO and chairwoman of the board of The Washington Post Co., looks over a copy of The Daily Herald with Larry Hanson, then The Herald’s publisher, during her visit to Everett on Sept. 20, 1984. The Washington Post Co. owned The Herald from 1978 until 2013. (Herald archives)
Everett’s brush with Katharine Graham, leader of ‘The Post’

Retired Herald publisher Larry Hanson recalls The Washington Post publisher’s visits.

Former Monroe cop loses appeal on sex crimes conviction

Once a highly respected officer, he was found guilty of secretly videotaping his kids’ babysitter.

Families seek to change wrongful death law

A bill would allow or parents or siblings who wish to pursue a suit for an unmarried, childless adult.

Most Read