(Added: Video by @houndoomer on Twitter. Language caution)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 5:44 AM: Another big fire callout in downtown White Center, and Seattle Fire units from West Seattle are being sent to help. 16th SW is being blocked south of Roxbury. We’re on our way to find out more.
5:58 AM: As our first photo shows, the logged address is correct – the old Locker Room Tavern at 9633 16th SW, damaged by fire back in April.
6:10 AM: No word yet if anyone was injured, or if the adjacent businesses are damaged.
This is the third major commercial-building fire in White Center in a little over two months, after the July 5th fire that gutted seven businesses a bit further north on 16th SW (ruled arson) and the fire at the old Atlas Electric building on September 1st (still under investigation).
6:18 AM: The fire’s not out yet – still visible flames and smoke inside the building.
6:34 AM: Public-information officers on scene say this is a 3-alarm fire – they’ve called in the extra help because of the proximity of other businesses. (video added, briefing by PIO Pat Pawlak:)
They’re working to try to keep it from spreading to the adjacent businesses (Bizzarro Italian Café to the south, Huong Xua Deli to the north). No injuries reported.
8:07 AM: After a break to return to HQ to upload video, our crew is back at the fire scene. Some of the responding units have been dismissed. We talked to a Bizzarro Italian Café rep, who says they’re closed Mondays anyway so they’ll be evaluating any effects. Same goes for Full Tilt Ice Cream two doors down – owner Justin Cline tells us there’s some water damage but they’re also usually closed Mondays, so they have time to deal with it. 16th, meantime, is likely to stay closed another two hours or so.
9:04 AM: Lot of cleanup to be done inside Huong Xua (above). Meantime, more than three hours after the fire started, firefighters are still on scene:
12:08 PM: 16th SW has reopened.
12:35 PM: We just checked back with Fire District spokesperson Shauna Sheppard: No cause determined yet.
1:31 PM: Another update from Sheppard: Early indications are that the fire was NOT deliberately set, but the investigation continues.
8:56 PM: We went by tonight; Bizzarro (whose website says they’ll be closed “a few weeks”) and Huong Xua are both boarded up, and the Locker Room is simply rubble. A commenter posted this link to a crowdfunding page for the Locker Room’s proprietors, saying they were about to start rebuilding from the April fire damage.