3-alarm fire damages 9 businesses in Bellevue

Bellevue Firefighters battle at three-alarm fire that broke out Monday night in a business park in the 13400 block of NE 20th St. (Photo: Vince Jelsema)

BELLEVUE, Wash. - At least nine units were damaged when a fire broke out Bellevue's Columbia Business Park Tuesday night.

Firefighters were called to the 13400 block of NE 20th Street just before 9:30 p.m. and arrived to find smoke and flames pouring out of the building. The call quickly escalated to three alarms.

Crews from Mercer Island, Redmond and Kirkland helped in trying to douse the flames on the ground and used ladders to fight the fire from above.

"We made several attempts to save portions of the building with a strategic tactic on the roof," said Bellevue Fire Lt. Brian Gomez. "The fire did overrun the first one, but we did have a successful stop at the second tactic so not the entire building is a loss."

Nine units in the complex were damaged including a day care center, retail spaces and an auto business.

"Was all of a sudden smoking out the bathroom," said Casey Doherty, who was in a business next to where the fire began. "We tried to gather all the equipment we could and out and we looked out and saw (the flames)."

It took crews over and hour knock down the majority of the flames, but hot spots burned into the night.

Fire officials said no one was inside any of the buildings at the time and no one was hurt.

Right now the cause of the fire is under investigation. Damage is estimated at over $1 million. Bellevue Fire said the building was not equipped with fire protection systems.

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