FRIDAY Harbor, Wash. - A fire destroyed a building on San Juan Island's waterfront in Friday Harbor that houses a popular restaurant and several tourism-related businesses.
Just after 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, San Juan Fire and Rescue was dispatched to a fire at 10 Front Street in Friday Harbor to find the building fully engulfed in flames.
Carolyn Hudson, a spokeswoman for San Juan Island Fire and Rescue, said the first ferry of the morning made two added stops to pick up firefighters from Orcas and Lopez islands to help fight the fire.
The fire crews worked through the morning to prevent the fire from spreading to other structures.
The building houses Downriggers Restaurant, Friday Harbor Marine, Friday Harbor Yachts, San Juan Safaris and San Juan Excursions.
The loss of the iconic restaurant is a blow to the community, impacting about 50 employees.
Mary Ann Ragsdale worked at the restaurant for the last 23 years, and said it's the heart of the community.
"You know that saying 'It takes a village?' This is it,” she said.
No injuries were reported and so far there's no word on what caused the fire.
Two Pacific Whale Watch Association offices were among those lost in the fire.
“Our office is gone but our business and boat survived. We’re still running daily trips,” said Pete Ancich of San Juan Excursions. “Thank you to all of the fire fighters and Island folks who helped this morning. We live in an amazing place.”