Fire burns down Bellingham auto shop, mobile home

An auto shop containing a mobile home and two pickup trucks burned down Saturday afternoon, Jan. 24, causing an estimated $85,000 in damage, firefighters said.

Firefighters arrived shortly after 1 p.m. Saturday to find the shop at 3525 Y Road engulfed in flames, said North Whatcom Fire and Rescue Chief Ron Anderson. The 60- by 40-foot pole building and everything inside was a total loss.

The auto shop was known as “Al’s Salvage,” although the business was not listed on the Whatcom County Assessor’s website.

Firefighters estimated damage to the building to cost around $50,000, and damage to the contents of the building were estimated at $35,000, Anderson said.

The cause of the fire is undetermined, said Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office investigator Mitch Nolze. He said it is likely the fire was either caused by improper installation of a wood stove or by an electrical malfunction, though he has not ruled out intentional causes.

Nobody was inside the shop during the fire, Nolze said. The Whatcom County Assessor website lists Alan D. Aho as a property owner at 3525 Y Road.

The cause of the fire will likely remain undetermined, Nolze said.