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This Lynden business planned to open June 20, but then a fire broke out

Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Firefighters stopped an early Tuesday morning fire before it could spread to adjacent businesses in a downtown Lynden commercial block, officials said.

Interim Fire Chief Robert Spinner said three businesses were affected by the 4:31 a.m. fire in the 300 block of Front Street.

“They found three occupancies heavily charged with smoke,” Spinner said. “They found a fire in the back of one occupancy, a pottery store.”

He said the crews first to arrive fought the fire inside.

“Engine 75 forced entry, got in and was able to locate the fire,” Spinner said, adding crews from Bellingham Fire and North Whatcom Fire and Rescue assisted with checking for fire extension into neighboring businesses.

No injuries were reported.

A damage estimate was not immediately available and the cause was undetermined pending an investigation, Spinner said. The fire’s origin was in the pottery studio.

Electricity was shut off in the area until about 8 a.m., affecting 17 customers, according to the Puget Sound Energy online outage map.

Spinner said fire damage was limited to a business that is moving in, a pottery studio called CreativitTea. Owner Chinook Graham said the Fairhaven-based business had been planning a Lynden location and didn’t know how the fire would affect its projected opening.

Graham said her planned June 20 opening, to coincide with school summer vacations, would be pushed back at least a month as repairs are made. She said she lost furnishings and a kiln, but not much inventory.

Two other businesses, Clean Water Service and Creative Design hair salon, sustained smoke damage, Spinner said. He said the water store was operating as usual. A call to the hair salon went unanswered Tuesday morning, and an employee at a neighboring business said it was closed.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty

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