Fire destroyed a three-story historic building in downtown Sedro-Woolley Monday morning.
Firefighters responded to the call around 3:20 a.m. at 810 Metcalf Street. The building was fully involved by the time they got there. Firefighters say it was fast-moving and likely started in the back.
No one was hurt. The DVD rental store Video West occupied the first floor. The second and third floors had been vacant.
City supervisor Eron Berg says two dozen firefighters from five different departments had worked for about an hour before they got control of the fire. Hours later they were still working on hot spots and flare ups.
Firefighters were never able to go inside the building because of structural integrity concerns. Not only was it built in the 1900s, the fire created cracks on the exterior walls and firefighters were worried about a building collapse.
"Our job is preservation of life and property," said Josh Carpenter, Sedro-Woolley Fire captain. "And at that time of the morning, we know that it's an unoccupied building. So our concern now is our firefighters and citizens. Buildings can be replaced. Lives can't."
One part of the building collapsed shortly before noon.
"I'm not going to have a business anymore," said Becky Chandler, the video store owner. "I appreciate our customers, too, and I love the community. "I'm doing better. I'm just really shocked more than anything. I did not expect it all this morning."
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