Investigators unable to pinpoint cause of fatal Everett fire

EVERETT, Wash. - The Everett fire marshal says investigators have determined the spot in one downtown apartment where a fatal Nov. 8 fire began but are unable to say for sure what caused it.

"Because the building was in such bad shape after the fire, we weren't really able to put investigators safely on the building to do a very good search," Rick Robinson said.

Robinson said Monday that "multiple items" in the area where the fire started could have contributed to the blaze, adding there's no indication the fire was suspicious.

His best guess is that it could be electrical wires by the TV. The renter inside the apartment six was also a smoker. He didn't make it out alive. Rescue workers found the body of 61-year-old Michael Beard, who died from smoke inhalation. His death has been ruled an accident.

The three-alarm fire caused an estimated $1 million damage to the historic McCrossen Building, just west of Comcast Arena. The two-story building housed 13 apartments plus a flea market, pizza parlor and cabinet shop on the first floor.

But now, the 1894 relic will likely be condemned. Robinson said there are still negotiations with the insurance company about a time line for demolition.