On Friday morning, I heard a roaring sound around 3:45. It sounded like a plane was flying really, really low. It stirred me, but I fell back asleep. At 4:19, I heard a lot of sirens. We hear a lot of sirens in our house, because we have 3 arterials within a few blocks of our home, so I didn’t think much of it, except that there were so many. At 4:35 I heard a lot more, and was awake enough then to realize the sirens were coming to rest somewhere nearby. They usually fade off in the distance, but it was a clear “stop” near our house.
I slept fitfully through helicopters and other noise until about 6:00 when Scott got up. Scott came running back into the bedroom and told me to turn on the news. It turns out there was a massive fire burning a whole block of our “downtown” business district in the neighborhood. There were over 100 fire fighters there, trying to prevent the fire from spreading and evacuating the people who lived in apartments over an adjacent building. Seattle’s neighborhoods are sort of like small towns, a few restaurants, a theater, pet store, toy stores, boutiques, coffee shops, pubs, pharmacy, and grocery stores. We make it a point to walk to all of these businesses regularly, supporting the neighborhood where we can.
Well, we lost three restaurants and a coffee shop that was a non-profit store, serving the community as a gathering place. The shop was founded by a pastor who holds his church services in the adjacent theater on Sunday mornings. The theater was badly damaged by water and smoke. The production has moved to Seattle Children’s Theater by the Space Needle for tonight, but there is no word on if their next production will start as scheduled during Thanksgiving weekend. If they do, I know two people who will be there!
They still don’t know what caused the fire as the building is so unstable, the inspector cannot go in. Everyone in the neighborhood is trying to figure out how they can help, and it’s neat to see the community rally for these family owned businesses. I hope everyone keeps sight of what we love about our own little town within a city and helps get these businesses back on their feet. Fortunately, the theater owns the whole building and has appropriate insurance.
I borrowed some photos from our neighborhood blog and posted them for you below.
You can see in this one that the brick facade is still up, but if you go behind the building there is nothing left. The roof collapsed shortly after the firefighters got there (thankfully, the man in charge read the fire correctly and pulled all fire fighters out minutes before the collapse).
Fortunately, no one was seriously injured, and there is a little humor starting to pop up. The Green Bean Coffee House’s roaster made them a sign for last night’s gathering to mourn called “Burnt Bean Blend.”
A few prayers for the families and business owners to be able to get back on their feet would be appreciated!