Lynnwood office building heavily damaged by fire

  • Wed Aug 15th, 2012 6:51pm

By Rikki King Herald Writer

LYNNWOOD — A fast-moving fire caused heavy damage last week to a Lynnwood office building.

The fire broke out just before 2:50 p.m. Aug. 15 in a two-story building along Cedar Valley Road, just south of 200th Street SW. The building houses a variety of businesses, including law offices, English Insurance Group and the headquarters for a local biodiesel company.

About 30 people work in the building, witnesses said.

Many were in their offices as flames burst through the roof and walls.

The two-alarm fire brought firefighters from throughout south Snohomish County and Shoreline.

Firefighters quickly decided the conditions were too dangerous to go inside.

No serious injuries were reported, said Lynnwood police detective Sgt. Rodney Cohnheim.

The fire’s cause was not immediately apparent.

“The investigation is really just in its infancy,” Cohnheim said.

The building was quickly evacuated, said Angela Kemp, who works at English Insurance Group, which has offices inside.

Based on what she saw, it appeared the flames originated in the northeast corner of the structure, near the front door.

She and her coworker, Mandi Gray, grabbed their purses and fled. They had to crouch to avoid the smoke, Gray said.

“It was surreal,” Kemp said.

After the fire, English Insurance Group moved to 5005 200th St. SW, Suite 200-B, in Lynnwood.

Alan Kluth watched the fire from across the street. Kluth, an assistant manager at Stoneway Electric Supply, called 911 when he saw flames, he said.

He saw some people move their cars out of the parking lot as the fire spread through the building and into nearby trees.

By 5 p.m., the neighborhood was under a pall of light white smoke, which drifted into residential areas to the south.

Damage to the building appeared extensive, including some collapsed walls.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com