Mark Choi (right) and an employee leave his office in the Plum Tree Plaza after firefighters checked for hot spots on Monday in Edmonds. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Mark Choi (right) and an employee leave his office in the Plum Tree Plaza after firefighters checked for hot spots on Monday in Edmonds. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Police: Arsonist lit fire that ravaged an Edmonds strip mall

Investigators were seeking tips to identify the culprit, who damaged 14 businesses on Highway 99.

EDMONDS — An arsonist set a three-alarm fire that damaged 14 businesses in an Edmonds strip mall known as Plum Tree Plaza, police said Monday.

Investigators were able to determine the cause based on physical evidence and security footage, Edmonds Assistant Police Chief Josh McClure said.

Police declined to release further details about how exactly the arsonist set the fire.

Witnesses reported smoke and flames around 5:35 a.m. Saturday at the L-shaped strip mall at 22315 Highway 99.

Firefighters arrived to find flames roaring from a storefront toward the center of the plaza. Crews battled for about 40 minutes before getting the fire under control, South County Fire spokesperson Leslie Hynes said. About 75 firefighters were on the scene at the peak of the incident.

Nobody was injured.

The strip mall was home to noodle houses, a tutoring center, a dentist’s office, a beauty school, a salon and an antique store. Many of the businesses were owned by Asian Americans. They shared an attic space, and each one sustained either flame, smoke or water damage.

Yellow caution tape blocked off the strip mall and its parking lot Monday. A South County Fire crew remained on scene to check for lingering hot spots.

A man who said he worked at a business in the plaza was cleaning up the storefront of his workplace around 11 a.m.

“Everything is completely black and destroyed in there,” said the employee, who asked to remain anonymous. “The whole ceiling and insulation is caved in.”

His employer was looking for another space to rent, he added.

Edmonds police were working with South County Fire and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to investigate the precise cause of the fire, McClure said.

Police sent out a memo Monday afternoon seeking tips to identify the arsonist. Anybody with information is asked to call Edmonds police at 425-771-0212 or email

Ellen Dennis: 425-339-3486;; Twitter: @reporterellen

Talk to us

More in Local News

Jason Thompson (Marysville School District)
Agreed: Absent Marysville superintendent will resign in 2022

Jason Thompson, meanwhile, will not work and will be paid $21,630 per month through June 30.

A worker disassembles a fluidized bed incinerator at the Edmonds Wastewater Treatment Plant on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021 in Edmonds, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
In Edmonds, $26M goes to a cleaner way to get rid of poop

The city will reduce its wastewater carbon footprint by dumping an incinerator and using new technology.

Marysville man shot in hand during apparent drug robbery

At least two suspects were being sought, and police are seeking surveillance video.

Tuesday's career fair will be at Everett Community College, which incidentally is also one of the participants. (Sue Misao / Herald file)
Snohomish County Career Fair set for Tuesday at EvCC

Job seekers can connect with more than 40 employers at this year’s annual event.

The Voting Commissioners of the Washington State Redistricting Commission released draft Legislative District maps Tuesday. (Washington State Redistricting Commission)
Early maps of legislative districts endanger some incumbents

Under one redistricting proposal, Mill Creek joins Everett. Under another, Monroe joins Wenatchee.

Driver who died in Everett car crash identified

Thomas Ogden, 43, was driving Tuesday morning on Rucker Avenue at 41st Street when another car crashed into his.

Granite Falls altercation: Dog killed, man shot in head

A 20-year-old man allegedly shot an intruder, 54, who threatened two people and killed their dog.

After a son shot his father, it’s dad who’s in jail

The man, 54, is accused of killing a dog, assaulting two people and violating a protection order.

Harlow Gore, 3, looks back at her mother and smiles while she hugs her dad, Senior Chief Jerry Gore, after he returns from deployment aboard the USS Kidd on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
After 4 months at sea, the USS Kidd comes home to Everett

A crew of over 370 sailors on Friday finished their second deployment in two years.

Most Read