KITSAP COUNTY, Wash — The historic Olalla Bay Market in Kitsap County was damaged in a fire early Tuesday morning. The property has been in a gathering place in the community since 1884.
Crews responded to the 2-alarm fire at the market, located on the 13900 block of Crescent Valley Road Southeast, around 2:15 a.m. Firefighters were able to get the blaze under control by 3 a.m., according to South Kitsap Fire & Rescue (SKFR).
The waterfront store is a pillar of the Olalla, Wash. community, located on the Kitsap Peninsula west of Vashon Island.
Store owner Gregg Olsen told KING 5 crews at the scene the damage to the building looked "pretty bad.” A lot of the fire and smoke damage was contained to the back kitchen area of the market.
Olsen said he found out about the fire when the security system in the building alerted him there was some movement in the building.
“It turned out to be a fire that wasn’t really flames, but of a big buildup of smoke in the back of the building,” Olsen said.
Olsen said there were around nine or 10 fire trucks at the market when he arrived.
“We live very close by, and we really appreciate how fast the Kitsap team came out here to help us,” Olsen said.
Olsen is a best-selling author and a prominent resident in the community. He became the owner of the market a few years ago and has been working to reopen the store. A reopening was set for early October, but now that reopening may not happen as planned.
Olsen said his family is going to focus on what the next steps will be to reopen and thanked the community for how they’ve supported them so far.
“It’s not just me and my family, it is, our community has worked so hard and we’ve had so many volunteers and help,” Olsen said.
The community has launched a GoFundMe to help the market as it recovers from the setback.
“To know that this fire has, it’s hard,” said a resident who stopped by the store Tuesday morning. “It’s hard, but we’re all going to be there to rally around this family and do whatever we can to help them get back on their feet.”
No injuries were reported.
SKFR said the fire was extinguished and crews had cleared the scene by 7 a.m. The Kitsap County Fire Marshal is investigating. The cause of the fire is currently unknown.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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