Police to investigate fire at former Marysville mill site

MARYSVILLE — The city fire marshal has asked police to investigate a Saturday night blaze along the Marysville waterfront that caused a building at the vacant Welco Lumber mill to collapse.

Although no formal cause has been determined, fire marshal Tom Maloney said Sunday that it appears to be neither natural nor accidental. Chances are it was caused by someone either intentionally or unintentionally, he said.

The mill has been closed for several years and has been shelter for squatters and transients in the past.

Firefighters were called to the former mill site off First Street shortly after 10 p.m. The building was in flames and firefighters “went defenive right away,” Maloney said.

It took 30 minutes to get the fire under control.

More than two dozen firefighters helped extinguish the blaze. Crews from Everett, Silvana, Getchell and Tulalip Bay provided aid to Marysville firefighters.

No injuries were reported.

Typically, there have been two to three calls a year for small fires at the site, Maloney said.

The lumber yard, along Ebey Slough, opened in 1987 and closed in mid-2007.

In its heyday, the five-acre mill provided jobs to about 150 people, producing cedar fencing and dimensional lumber that was used primarily in home construction. Welco Lumber closed its Marysville mill with a drop in the area’s home construction market.

In 2010, a 13-year-old Marysville boy told police he set a summer fire that caused extensive damage to the lumber mill. Witnesses reported seeing a group of young people in the area just before the fire started.

Three other Marysville boys, all 13, were identified as being with the suspect at the time of the fire.

The city wants the property owners to provide tighter security for the site, Maloney said. It also is considering a citation to compel the owners to get the building cleaned up.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com

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