Surveillance video sheds light on suspicious Bellingham pet store fire


    Bellingham pet store fire (KOMO News)

    BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- Recently released surveillance video sheds light on the two-alarm fire Monday that destroyed a Bellingham pet store.

    Just more than 48 hours after the devastating fire at the Hohl Feed and Seed, investigators are calling the fire suspicious.

    Investigators believe the fire was started by someone behind the business. They found no other cause like an electrical issue.

    What they don’t know is whether it was an accidental or intentionally-set fire.

    The new evidence might lead them to an answer.

    Surveillance from a business across the alley from Hohl shows someone walking over to the back of the building. It looks like a man, who spends less than a minute in that spot behind the building, before walking away. During the time he’s in that spot, a glow or light can be seen.

    The timing of the video puts the man there just moments before the 911 call that had firefighters rushing to get the fire out.

    The fire started burning just before 4:30 a.m. Monday and raged on for hours.

    Flames shot through the roof of the two-story Hohl building, but a fire wall and firefighters spraying about 6,000 gallons of water per minute kept it from spreading.

    Firefighters also helped rescue dozens of small pets from Hohl's and from Clark's next door.

    The fire chief said that knowing that this fire was started by a person, either intentionally or accidentally, just adds to the devastation the community is feeling right now.

    Police not only want to talk with the man seen in that video from the back of the store, they also want to talk with a second man, seen crossing the street from a different direction, just after the man in the alley crossed the street.

    Bellingham Police Lt. Claudia Murphy said the city’s surveillance video captured the second man, wearing a red hat and carrying a backpack.


    Anyone with information that could help identify those in the videos is urged to contact Detective Kelsh at 360-778-8690 or the Bellingham Police tip line at 360-778-8611. Tips can also be sent in electronically at www.cob.org/tips.

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