Arson suspected in commercial building fire on Hwy 99; crews also respond to second, unrelated blaze

South County Fire crews work to douse the flames from the commercial building fire. (photo courtesy of South County Fire)

An early morning fire at a commercial building on Highway 99 north of Lynnwood Wednesday is being investigated as arson, said South County Fire spokesperson Leslie Hynes.

The fire was reported around 3:15 a.m. in the 15800 block of Highway 99 in a one-story building that houses four businesses: a sunroom company, a painting company, an autobody shop and a roofing company.

“When the first South County Fire crews arrived, flames were coming through the roof near the front of the building,” Hynes said. “No one was inside the building at the time of the fire. No one was injured.”

Dangerous fire conditions and the threat of structural collapse forced firefighters to make an exterior attack, Hynes said. It took firefighters close to an hour to get the fire under control and they remained on the scene until around 8 a.m. dealing with hot spots.

Both lanes of Highway 99 were closed earlier Wednesday morning as crews worked but the roadway later reopened to traffic.

The area of the building occupied by the sunroom company was heavily damaged by the fire. Firefighters kept the flames from breaching a firewall and spreading to other businesses in the building.

South County Fire was assisted by Mukilteo Fire, Everett Fire and Snohomish Regional Fire & Rescue.

The Snohomish County Fire Marshal’s Office determined the fire was intentionally set and is heading the arson investigation.

As South County Fire crews were still working to contain hot spots at the site of an earlier fire on Highway 99, a call came in dispatching them to yet another fire farther north on the highway.

That fire, which is believe to be unrelated to the first blaze, was at the Axis Apartments in the 12100 block of Highway 99. The fire was reported by a passerby who noticed smoke coming from the open window of a third-floor apartment just moments before the building fire alarm sounded.

All residents evacuated safely and no injuries were reported, South County Fire spokesperson Leslie Hynes said.

The building’s sprinkler system kept the fire in check and it was quickly extinguished by firefighters.

The cause of the fire appears to be electrical, Hynes said. Fire damage is estimated at $2,000. Two apartment units on the floors below the fire unit sustained water damage.


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