SEATTLE — One of the businesses destroyed by a 3-alarm fire in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood Monday was a Puerto Rican restaurant known for its authentic dishes and generosity following Hurricane Maria.
La Isla on NW Market Street was a gathering place for Seattle’s Puerto Rican community. It also provided a way for community members to send help to Puerto Rico after it was devastated by the 2017 storm.
Customers donated money and supplies, which La Isla’s owner arranged to have shipped to Puerto Rico communities trying to rebuild.
They eventually founded the La Isla Foundation which continued to send relief to Puerto Rico.
“Our Board will evaluate how to best serve those affected by this fire,” said Erika Almanza Brown, the La Isla Foundation Co-President, in a Facebook post Monday.
La Isla restaurant, Supercuts, Kitchen N Things, and Octo Designs & Jewelers sustained heavy damage and are a total loss. The Pho Vietnamese restaurant that borders Coleman Jewelers was also damaged from smoke exposure and water, according to the Seattle Fire Department.
“There was not a firestop between those five businesses, so that allowed the fire in the attic space to spread from one business to the next without being stopped,” said Kristin Tinsley, Public Information Officer for Seattle Fire.
Tinsley said the initial call came from Supercuts.
It's unclear how the fire started and investigators won't be able to go inside until the fire is completely out and the structure is safe.
One firefighter was taken with minor injuries to a hospital, officials said.
No one else was injured in the massive fire.