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Historic building in Steilacoom damaged by fire

Post by Mike Archbold on Aug. 31, 2010 at 1:08 pm with No Comments »
August 31, 2010 1:33 pm

A fire early this morning caused minimal damage inside the Bair Bistro which is located in the 105-year old Bair Drug building downtown on Lafayette Street.

The 4 a.m.  fire left a burn mark on the floor which employees were busy sanding away this morning.

Restaurant owner Sarah Cannon said that with the blessing of the Pierce County Health Department they hope to have the place cleaned up and open by Wednesday,

Cannon said a person out walking saw the flames through the windows of the old Bair Drug and Hardware store and called 911. The automatic alarm inside had also alerted the Steilacoom Public Safety Department.

The landmark building in Washington’s oldest town is owned by the Steilacoom Historical Museum Association and had been closed for a number of years until Cannon opened her restaurant there last Mother’s Day.

The cause of the fire is under investigation but Cannon said it might be due to combustion in a stack of bar towels delivered to the  restaurant about midnight.

“At this point, it looks like some laundered rags combusted, some chemical reaction” Cannon said. “The laundry brought them in this morning and just set inside the door in the service area.”

Fire officials couldn’t be reached immediately.

She said they are “very fortunate  damage is very minimal. Aside from the spot on the floor and the fact we have less bar towels, we were so fortunate.” No equipment was burned.

They plan to bring in an ozone machine to clean smoke from the air, she said.

After the initial shock, Cannon said she is moving forward.

“As far as I’m concerned it’s just a little speed bump in the road,” she said. “This place is so lovely and amazing. It would take a lot to close this place with all the support from the community. “

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