Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Two-Alarm Fire in Downtown Olympia Destroys Warehouse

Above: City of Olympia deputy fire chief Greg Wright was still on site early Tuesday morning at 227 Adams Street in downtown Olympia after a two alarm fire destroyed the one and a half story, rectangle shaped, wooden building, which was built around 1920. Wright said the cause of the fire was still undetermined.

By Janine Gates

A building at 227 Adams Street in downtown Olympia was already heavily involved in fire by the time firefighters arrived within three minutes from the call to dispatch at 1:14 a.m. Tuesday morning, said City of Olympia deputy fire chief Greg Wright in a press release.

Aided with units from Lacey, Tumwater, and Thurston County, there were approximately 35 firefighters at any one time working on the fire. The main fire was out after about 90 minutes and there were no reported injuries to firefighters.

In what could have been a far worse situation, the area between the fire building and the adjacent structure, an alley, was filled with new and used propane tanks and a propane delivery truck. Those tanks were kept cool and remained undamaged. The building is owned by Acme Fuel Company. 

Above: Evidence will be analyzed for a possible cause of the fire. The structure was a total loss, including two fuel oil delivery trucks and two other trucks inside at the time of the fire.  A tea wholesale business and a wood shop in the building were also destroyed. Preliminary damage estimates are $350,000 for the building and $500,000 for the contents. 

The building was built in 1920, according to the Thurston Regional Planning Council historic property inventory database, and did not have a fire alarm system or fire sprinklers. 

Above: Washington State Department of Ecology spill response employees lower absorbent booms down a storm drain early Tuesday morning near the corner of Thurston and Adams Streets in downtown Olympia. 

Heavy run off from the fire covered several streets and briefly blocked access to the downtown Intercity Transit bus facility, but as drains were cleared by Olympia Public Works, the water receded. An undetermined amount of runoff from the fire went into nearby Puget Sound. Ecology is also in touch with the building owners about products stored in the building.