Fire guts building on San Juan Island waterfront

FRIDAY HARBOR — A fire early Saturday gutted a building that houses a well-known restaurant and tourism businesses on San Juan Island’s picturesque waterfront in Friday Harbor.

Fire crews responded at about 2:40 a.m. Saturday, with additional firefighters ferried in from Anacortes and from Orcas and Lopez islands, KOMO-TV reported. The building near the state ferry landing houses Downriggers Restaurant and several other businesses, including Friday Harbor Marine, Friday Harbor Yachts, San Juan Safaris and San Juan Excursions.

“There were flames at least 20 or 30 feet high coming out of the building at one point,” said Carolyn Hudson, spokeswoman for San Juan Island Fire &Rescue.

The building appears to be a total loss — a big hit on the local economy, especially because the restaurant employs about 50 people, Hudson said.

Firefighters planned to work all day to make sure the fire doesn’t spread.

There were no reports of injuries. The cause of the fire is unknown, Hudson said.

Officials said the Port of Friday Harbor will try to help the businesses relocate. San Juan Excursions’ whale watch boat, the Odyssey, has been moved to a different slip.

Port Director Marilyn O’Connor said the Port of Friday Harbor also is evacuating Spring Street Pier, one of four piers there, so that booms can be placed to minimize any potential runoff from the firefighting efforts.

While firefighters continue to fight the blaze, boaters staying in the port will need to take the stairs above the port offices to access the town of Friday Harbor.

State ferry sailings were also expected to be delayed.

On the Net

For more information about the blaze, go to www.sanjuanislander.com/island-newshome/more/fire

More in Local News

A customer walks away after buying a hot dog from a vendor on 33rd St and Smith Street near the Everett Station on Friday. The Everett Station District Alliance pictures the area east of Broadway and south of Hewitt Avenue as a future neighborhood and transit hub that could absorb expected population growth. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
How can Everett Station become a vibrant part of city?

A neighborhood alliance focused on long-term revitalization will update the public Tuesday.

Man arrested after police find van full of drugs, cash and guns

An officer on patrol noticed a vehicle by itself in the middle of a WinCo parking lot at 2 a.m.

After work to address issues, Lynnwood gets clean audit

The city has benefited from increased revenues from sales tax.

Bolshevik replaces BS in Eyman’s voters pamphlet statement

The initiative promoter also lost a bid to include a hyperlink to online coverage of the battle.

Man with shotgun confronts man on toilet about missing phone

Police say the victim was doing his business when the suspect barged in and threatened him.

Detectives seek suspect in woman’s homicide

Alisha Michelle Canales-McGuire was shot to death Wednesday at a home south of Paine Field.

Car crashes near Everett after State Patrol pursuit

The driver and a second person in the car suffered injuries.

Smith Island habitat restoration cost to rise $1.2 million

The project is intended to increase survival rates for juvenile chinook salmon.

Jim Mathis, the Vietnam veteran whose Marysville garden was recently featured in The Herald, died Wednesday. Mathis, who suffered from PTSD and cancer, found solace in his beautiful garden. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Vietnam veteran Jim Mathis found peace in his garden

The Marysville man who served two tours died Wednesday after suffering from cancer and PTSD.

Most Read