SEATTLE - A four-alarm blaze at Seattle-s Gascoigne Lumber Co. and Northwest Millwork lumber yard has been ruled arson by police.
“During the course of the investigation, (fire investigators) determined the fire was intentionally set, and are ruling it as arson,” the fire department said in a statement Tuesday. The Seattle Police Department’s Arson and Bomb Squad has taken over the investigation.
The fire did an estimated $4.3 million in damage. Gascoigne Lumber and Northwest Millwork, a family business in operation since 1926, has vowed to restart the business but likely in a different location.
Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins told local news that the fire was the largest in Seattle since 2010, requiring nearly 150 firefighters, four departments, and 12,000 gallons of water per minute to defeat. Two buildings were completely destroyed and three more were damaged. At one point, Scoggins says flames reached 100 feet into the sky.
It remains unclear as to whether accelerants were used. Samples are currently being tested.
Arson seems to be plaguing lumber and furniture companies as of late. Last month, a fire at American Furniture Manufacturing in Pontotoc, Mississippi destroyed much of the company's 1-million-square-foot facility. It's the second blaze this year, leading authorities to suspect arson. Also in Pontotoc, authorities have ruled a September 29 fire at Washington Furniture as arson.
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