2-alarm fire damages 10 businesses in Kirkland strip mall
KIRKLAND, Wash. -- Several fire crews battled a 2-alarm commercial fire at a strip mall in Kirkland early Wednesday morning.
After 3 a.m., firefighters received calls from people reporting flames at the Rose Hill Village on the intersection of NE 85th St. and 128th Ave. NE.
Firefighters initially attacked the flames from inside the complex.
A portion of the roof collapsed moments after they were forced out once the fire spread to the attic.
Breanna Piatz arrived to find all of the roads blocked around Lifeline Espresso, the stand that she’s owned with her sister since April. Officers wouldn’t let her in, she said.
“I asked if it caught to the stand and they weren’t sure. So, all I had to do was go home. Call Amber,” Piatz said.
“I woke up and I frantically ran around and he’s like ‘What’s going on?’ And I’m like ‘I don’t know!’” her sister Amber Cortes told KOMO News.
They waited for roughly 3 hours to learn their stand survived, they said.
About 10 other businesses have varying degrees of smoke, water, and fire damage and likely won’t be able to reopen for several days, fire investigators said.
“It’s definitely devastating,” Cortes said.
“We see most of them on a regular basis. So, that’s their life. It sucks,” Piatz added.
Firefighters will remain on scene Wednesday night and into Thursday to watch for hot spots and make sure nothing flares back up, investigators said.
Some heavy equipment will be brought in to remove a portion of the roof that collapse, they added. Investigators want to make sure it’s safe to go in before they try to figure out what caused the fire.
“Based on what we’ve seen so far, it’s going to take a couple days to get there,” said Kirkland Fire Deputy Chief Dave VanValkenburg.
Investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) were on scene Wednesday to help with that process. The ATF’s presence does not indicate any specific cause, investigators told KOMO News.