By: Erin Freeman | Lynnwood Times Staff
Updated at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, July 21.
EVERETT, WA, July 17- A large fire sparked at Fisherman Harbor Thursday evening, engulfing the Waterfront Place Apartments under construction into flames.
At 5:43 p.m., the Everett Fire Department received notice of a fire at 1300 West Marine View Drive through a 9-1-1 call. Declared as a 4-alarm fire, all fire departments and resources within Snohomish County responded, explained Everett Fire Department spokesperson Rachael Doniger.
Two buildings were under construction at the Waterfront Place Apartments. One of the two was a “total loss, completely burned down,” says Doniger, accumulating damage during the fire of at least $25 million to $30 million alone, the Everett Fire Department revealed in a statement.
The Waterfront Place Apartments are a part of a larger infrastructure project lead by the Port of Everett to develop the property at the marina dubbed Waterfront Place. The two-building residential complex was set to be completed in 2021, with a prospective 266 apartment units to be introduced as the Port’s first residential housing.
An aid car, a fire engine and a ladder truck were also damaged, the windows blowing out from the truck due to exposure to radiant heat. One firefighter underwent minor injury says Doniger, a slight burn to his hand while moving the aid car from further harm. No other injuries were reported.
Embers from the fire blew across Marine View Drive and over a nearby hillside, setting flame to houses in the Rucker Avenue and Grande Avenue residential neighborhoods, with at least two homes catching fire damaged. One underwent significant damage, says Doniger.
Nearby neighbors fought to preserve their properties by extinguishing small spot fires with hoses and buckets of water. Firefighters also worked to control home and spot fires to prevent further spread.
A task force consisting of Bothell Fire Department, Northshore Fire Department, Woodinville Fire and Rescue, and Shoreline Fire Department responded to 9-1-1 calls from Everett residents, working to support the countywide response from the South Snohomish Fire and Rescue, Mukilteo Fire, Marysville Fire District, Arlington Fire Department, Snohomish County Airport Fire Department, Naval Station Everett Fire, and Snohomish County Fire Districts #4, #7, and #22.
Surrounding areas of the waterfront and residential fires in North Everett experienced a temporary power outage, the Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1 (PUD) turning it off as a safety precaution due to nearby powerlines.
“As you can see above us, there’s a lot of power lines and our firefighters are trying to fight that fire on the hillside, it would need to be shut off for safety,” Doniger explained.
After gaining control of the waterfront fire, firefighters continued to work to manage the burning buildings, paying attention to hotspots. On scene, Doniger predicted they’d be working to extinguish the fire into Thursday night.
Authorities are currently investigating what ignited the fire and are seeking images and videos of the incident from the public. Media evidence can be uploaded at https://everettpd-wa.evidence.com/axon/citizen/public/2020-66971.
Editor’s note: Featured image courtesy of Connie Peterson, who was enjoying an evening on a boat at the Port of Everett. Peterson reports that she helped hose down boats in front of the Waterfront Place Apartment fire. “It was so incredibly hot, it felt like we were being scorched,” Peterson told the Lynnwood Times.