Fire damages Bellingham high-rise for elderly, disabled

A fire at Lincoln Square Apartments, an 11-story high-rise in Bellingham, destroyed a laundry room and caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage early Saturday, Nov. 1.

Smoke alarms alerted firefighters to the first-story laundry room around 12:13 a.m., in the midst of what had already been a very busy Halloween night for city firefighters, said Bellingham Fire Department Battalion Chief Andy Day.

Firefighters arrived in about eight minutes to find flames in the laundry room were destroying all four washers and four dryers. The fire was knocked down seven minutes later, Day said.

Heavy smoke had flooded the first floor of the building at 409 York St., causing smoke damage to several community rooms. Day gave a rough estimate of $50,000 in cleanup costs.

The cause of the fire wasn’t clear Saturday, and much of the evidence in the laundry room had burned up, the battalion chief said.

It was an extraordinarily busy Halloween night for firefighters, Day said, with some fire and aid crews responding to up to 16 calls.

Lincoln Square Apartments, built in 1970, is owned by the Bellingham Housing Authority. The building houses elderly and disabled people in its 198 units.

Some residents live on the first floor, but nobody was displaced because of the fire.