UPDATE: City, county team up to fight 2-alarm White Center fire; LumberYard Bar gutted, other businesses damaged

1:54 AM: Big Seattle Fire response for what’s described as a structure fire at 16th and Roxbury. We’re on our way to find out more.

(West Seattle Blog/White Center Now photos by Patrick Sand)

2:07 AM: The fire is being fought by King County units as well as SFD, per radio communication – we’re still waiting for word from our crew regarding the fire’s specific location, as the real-time log has not been updated beyond “16th/Roxbury.”

2:29 AM: The public-information officer on scene tells us it’s in the commercial building on the west side of 16th just south of Roxbury. Still trying to determine which business(es).

2:37 AM: Our photographer has confirmed the building that holds LumberYard Bar and Rat City Tattoo is involved. We’re told a city crew was first on scene of this – Engine 11 (based in Highland Park) was on a medical call a short distance north on 16th when someone ran up and told them a building was on fire.

3:10 AM: The fire’s not entirely out yet – firefighters are still dealing with hotspots and trying to ensure the fire hasn’t spread. No reports of injuries, and it’s too soon for the investigation to begin into the cause.

3:48 AM: Not out yet. Firefighters from multiple departments are still working on it from both sides of the building (16th and 17th). Of note: This is a 2-alarm fire, according to the public-information-officer team.

4:32 AM: The LumberYard’s Instagram feed notes it was closed Sunday night because of a power outage. We don’t know details of that outage, but the City Light map shows 32 customers now out in that area because of the fire, so this may affect businesses beyond the ones damaged by the fire itself. We’ll of course be following up.

ADDED 10:37 AM: We went back this morning – in the view above, you are looking into the building from the alley side. Fire crews are still there:

We talked to Chief Mike Marrs of Fire District 2, which includes North Highline and Burien. The investigator finally got into the building a few hours ago to try to determine the cause.

Other businesses to the north were damaged – including broken glass. Firefighters were expected to be on scene, with 16th remaining closed in that block, until noonish. We will check back again.

11:58 AM: As linked in comments, a crowdfunding campaign has been set up for the LumberYard.

1:45 PM: Fire District 2 public-information Shauna Sheppard says they do NOT believe this was caused by fireworks. So far they’ve traced the origin to the LumberYard’s basement, and they believe it was accidental, though the specific cause remains under investigation.

7:54 PM: Along with the crowdfunding link for the LumberYard, here are three others for those affected: For the Boxing Gym; for staff of the affected businesses; and for Nuggi, a boba-tea shop that was opening soon.

ADDED TUESDAY: More crowdfunding – this time for La Tipica Oaxaqueña, and for Dottie’s Doublewide (that page notes it had new owners who were preparing to reopen).

49 Replies to "UPDATE: City, county team up to fight 2-alarm White Center fire; LumberYard Bar gutted, other businesses damaged"

  • Elson alegría July 5, 2021 (2:03 am)

    I saw the flames from my house. 

  • Fakishki July 5, 2021 (2:25 am)

    Is it clear what building it is? Looks like rat city tattoo / dottie’s / lumber yard area.

    • WSB July 5, 2021 (2:31 am)

      That vicinity is all we know so far from talking to the PIO, still trying to safely get close enough for a more precise location.

      • WSB July 5, 2021 (2:34 am)

        Update: The fire is centered in the Lumberyard. Adding a closer photo SFD has just tweeted. (Added: Actually the added photo is from our crew, after they were able to get closer. The same building in which the fire is centered holds Rat City Tattoo.)

  • Fakishki July 5, 2021 (2:42 am)

    oh no.no no no😔

  • Steven Fischer-Torres July 5, 2021 (3:38 am)

    This is so sad 

  • AMD July 5, 2021 (3:39 am)

    Oh no!  This is the last thing these businesses need!  Why, WHY do people feel so entitled to launch flaming explosives wherever they want on Fourth of July?  This was completely avoidable….

    • WSB July 5, 2021 (4:31 am)

      Please note, as of this writing, the fire isn’t even out, and that means the investigation has not begun. So while you might lay odds on a 4th of July fire being caused by fireworks, ***nothing has been determined***. (And while this too might be unrelated, Lumberyard’s Instagram feed says they were closed last night because of a power outage. City Light’s map doesn’t archive and we hadn’t heard of the outage so I don’t know when it started/ended. The map shows an outage in the area now BECAUSE of the fire, so other businesses may be affected this morning even if they weren’t damaged by the fire.)

      • Joey July 5, 2021 (6:35 am)

        Thank you for your response.  It’s extremely frustrating when people start spreading false information.

  • Jason July 5, 2021 (4:48 am)

    FYI there is video footage of someone setting fireworks right behind lumberyard when the fire started.  The person who took the footage ran over to boom box to let Amy know there was a fire.  It was def fireworks.  The owner of boom box can confirm 

    • SJ July 5, 2021 (10:47 am)

      Where did you see that video you’re referring to? 

      • Mel July 5, 2021 (10:47 pm)

        Yeah, “there is video footage” isn’t going to cut it. At this point it’s hearsay, and the fire department has tracked the origin to the basement, so it doesn’t square.

  • ClayZ July 5, 2021 (4:56 am)

    Too bad.  I hope this doesn’t effect much beyond the lumberyard.  A lot of people have been upgrading the area the last few years.

  • Tracey July 5, 2021 (6:26 am)

    Are people prosecuted for structure damage caused by illegal fireworks?  Are there any past examples in West Seattle?  Just curious what the fines and/or jail time would look like in this City.  

    • EO July 5, 2021 (1:05 pm)

      White Center is unincorporated King County,  therfore it IS legal for some fireworks – which is why they could legally sell them in White Center but NOT West Seattle or Burien where it is illegal. 

      • WSB July 5, 2021 (1:44 pm)

        And this was the last year they’re legal in unincorporated King County.

      • Karleen July 5, 2021 (6:18 pm)

        Safety changes need to happen.I think they need to write a law banning sales near city center, businesses and where large residential occupancy resides especiallythe elderly apartment complex’s. Keep sales away from the County line and heavy populated areas near the City.

  • Greystreet July 5, 2021 (6:52 am)

    This is just terrible, saw all of the trucks on my way into work this morning and was hoping nothing was destroyed but ugh, the pictures don’t look great :-(, to just make it out of a pandemic, strict restrictions and then have this happen :-(, sending all the love to Michale and Nathan at the LY 

  • Peter July 5, 2021 (8:05 am)

    Whatever the cause, this is a loss for the White Center community. I hope there will be an opportunity to support the affected businesses that have endured much over the past 18 months.

  • flimflam July 5, 2021 (8:17 am)

    I remember this comment on another post yesterday…” There are people setting fireworks off literally right next to the lumber yard tonight. 😬”.

    • EB July 5, 2021 (9:35 am)

      Idiots were launching Roman candles across sixteenth street last night around 9pm  over cars driving, it was jarring and then punks lighting off big fireworks in the Westwood parking lot with to attempt to hide what they were doing 

    • Ada July 5, 2021 (10:29 am)

      I think that was referring to Alki lumber in the triangle.

      • WSB July 5, 2021 (10:34 am)

        Yes, reviewing the earlier comment, that’s clearly a reference to 36th SW, which is closed *by ALKI LUMBER in West Seattle* because of the heat damage.

    • West Seattle Mad Sci Guy July 5, 2021 (11:46 am)

      Can confirm. They were setting off ‘cool’ (real, fireshow fireworks) right up against the road closure from the buckling / 100 feet south later in the evening (They moved).  This was right next to Alki lumber.  They were using a traffic cone to aim the fireworks ‘up’.  What’s funny is I didn’t even think of it in that extra added danger context until now. I just went out to check on my car.

      • Admiral Neighbor July 5, 2021 (6:42 pm)

        Alki Lumber is also right next to a dog daycare/boarding facility- a really great one at that! I’m sure the people setting off the fireworks there didn’t think that there may be dogs boarding there overnight and, likely, terrified of the noise. Awful. 

  • Beth July 5, 2021 (8:47 am)

    Nothing but 😢 for these guys. 

  • Shalyn Holloway July 5, 2021 (11:00 am)

    Oh man what a loss. I hope these businesses can get back on their feet quickly, and that all the assholes lighting off fireworks (whether that was the cause of this fire or not) face some consequences.

  • pdx77 July 5, 2021 (11:02 am)

    KIRO is reporting that it started in the basement of the lumberjack.   No word on how it started though 

    • WSB July 5, 2021 (12:12 pm)

      The chief told us EARLY indications were that fireworks were unlikely but we have not yet checked back to see if they’ve determined a final cause, will be making yet another round of calls shortly. Our photographer has just been back to the scene yet again and it’s clear that other businesses are hard-hit as well.

      • Pdx77 July 5, 2021 (1:23 pm)

        Could very well be possible it was electrical related since they had no power last night.  Of course it’s speculation and we won’t know until the official word comes out.What a devastating lost though :(

        • WSB July 5, 2021 (1:43 pm)

          We have since talked to the PIO and she says that while they haven’t found the exact cause, they do indeed believe it started in the basement and was accidental – not fireworks-related.

          • Anecdotal Account? July 5, 2021 (2:10 pm)

            Another great story line compromised by some emerging information.I appreciate WSB’s deliberate reporting, sparse of speculation.If “Jason’s” anecdotal account of the video is true, please Boom Box owner,  provide the video to SFD.  

  • Paul July 5, 2021 (11:06 am)

    White Ceter Pride has started a GoFundMe for the Lumberyard https://gofund.me/c1654edd

  • Barry L Burns July 5, 2021 (11:48 am)

    https://gofund.me/c1654edd The Lumber Yard GoFundMe page is getting a lot of support. Help them if you are able.

    • WSB July 5, 2021 (11:58 am)

      Thank you, will add that to both of our sites’ stories about this. – TR

  • Matthew Scott July 5, 2021 (3:25 pm)

    The Gofundme for Lumber Yard has raised over $55,000 in less than 5 hours.   This business was truly loved by the GLBT+ community and we hope they will be able to rebuild soon.

  • AMD July 5, 2021 (5:52 pm)

    There’s a second fundraiser now for the other impacted businesses:  https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-white-center-fire-business-victim-staff

  • Reese July 5, 2021 (6:27 pm)

    Here’s a just-launched GFM for The Boxing Gym Westside: https://www.gofundme.com/f/fire-relief-fund-for-the-boxing-gym-westside

  • GB July 5, 2021 (6:40 pm)

    It’s great that the Lumberyard has raised $75k already. But there are other businesses affected. So far, there is another gofundme set up for the staff of the other businesses to support too: https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-white-center-fire-business-victim-staff?d=:signedDonationId&utm_medium=email&utm_source=product&utm_campaign=p_email_m_pd-5332-donation-receipt-adyen&utm_content=internal

  • Westwood Resident July 5, 2021 (6:53 pm)

    Hey WSB, could you include the crowdfunding link for Nuggi, the boba shop that was due to open later this month? It got destroyed in the fire as well.  https://gofund.me/a1a0cb85

  • Michael July 5, 2021 (9:03 pm)

    I bet the cause was electrical. They had a power outage, then when the outage ends the fire begins? One can cause the other. If the electrical work was not up to code, at lease the Lumber Yard shouldn’t be considered at fault or anything.Regardless of their relationship to the fire, those who were using fireworks next to LY should have been more responsible, there should have been a greater distance. Have some respect.

  • S.A. July 6, 2021 (9:01 am)

    Adding another call for an update with GFMs for other impacted businesses. Boxing gym, Boba cafe, etc.

    • WSB July 6, 2021 (9:40 am)

      The GFMs are all listed in the story above, as of last night.

  • DD July 6, 2021 (9:41 am)

    Something to be said for requiring a sprinkler system in all bars and restaurants.

  • B July 6, 2021 (9:48 am)

    Go fund me has been set up for the Oaxacan store as well!  https://gofund.me/375dba2c

    • WSB July 6, 2021 (9:57 am)

      thank you!

  • REBEKAH BAKER LASALA July 6, 2021 (5:46 pm)

    I really have to wonder if this fire, along with the Highland Park Community Center, are arson fires.  The reason is because of the frequency and the way that the fires are happening…so close together.  In any case, it is a tragedy for ANY BUSINESS or Community club and organization like Highland Park to go through a fire.   This is a horrific time in general, and then to add fire to it…is just…insane.    I am poor and unemployed and live in public housing myself or I would give money to those affected.  Love and Peace to everyone.  Please stay safe and if you are reading this, do something nice for someone today, do a random act of kindness and then do something nice for yourself, because the world desperately needs it.

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