Fire heavily damaged a wood-finishing business in a light industrial and commercial area north of the Civic Athletic Complex late Tuesday.
Flames tore through one section of the building in a business park at 1331 J Meador Ave., housing Interior Doors & More. The Puget neighborhood business sells doors and cabinetry and also provides a pre-finishing service with paint or stain and lacquer, according to its website.
Origin of the fire was in a corner where used rags are stored, said Assistant Chief Bill Hewett of the Bellingham Fire Department. Cause remains undetermined pending an investigation, but it appears accidental, he said.
No injuries were reported, fire and business officials said.
Interior Doors owner Jim Mark estimated damage at $100,000 or more.
Hewett said the first-arriving firefighters poured a heavy stream of water through a second-story window in front as additional crews prepared to attack from inside.
“On the way there, they could see a column of black smoke coming up,” Hewett said. Flames were rolling out the second-story window above the front office and were licking around the seams of a roll-up door in the back, he said.
Once inside the shop, firefighters encountered heavy smoke and fire, Hewett said.
“The shop was fully involved inside that unit,” Hewett added.
He said structural fire walls that separate six individual units in the building helped limit the fire’s progress and contain damages to the room of origin, adding the building lacks a sprinkler system.
Flames were brought under control within about 30 minutes, he said. Bellingham Fire crews got help from South Whatcom Fire Authority.
The Bellingham Herald reporter Robert Mittendorf is a volunteer firefighter with South Whatcom Fire Authority. He was not involved with fighting this fire.