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Downtown business open after Wednesday’s fire, despite damage in the ‘thousands’

Firefighters battle the Clark Feed & Seed fire

Firefighters battle the three-alarm Clark Feed & Seed and Avalon Records fire Wednesday, July 17, 2019, in downtown Bellingham, Wash.
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Firefighters battle the three-alarm Clark Feed & Seed and Avalon Records fire Wednesday, July 17, 2019, in downtown Bellingham, Wash.

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Clark Feed & Seed, Avalon Records fire

A fire the evening of July 17, 2019, significantly damaged landmark downtown business Clark Feed & Seed and Avalon Records.

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Approximately 12 hours after a downtown fire significantly damaged two landmark businesses it sits next to, the Vienna Cleaners laundry service was open for business Thursday morning, July 18.

While fire investigators began the process of determining what caused Wednesday evening’s three-alarm fire that significantly damaged landmark downtown businesses Clark Feed & Seed and Avalon Records, Vienna Cleaners manager Tricia Davis was surveying the damage to her business, which is located adjacent to Avalon on East Magnolia Street.

Though the cleaner was open for business Thursday, Davis said she expected the laundry service would have to redo all the clothes it had already cleaned because of the heavy smoke that had blanketed the area Wednesday.

“We have already had customers come in today, walk out the front door, smell their clothes and bring them right back in,” said Davis.

Davis also said she was not sure about the amount of damage the cleaner had suffered as a result of Wednesday’s fire.

“Were not really sure yet,” said Davis, “but I’m sure it will cost thousands. It’s hard to put a number on it yet.”

Railroad Avenue and East Magnolia Street reopened to vehicle traffic Thursday, but sidewalks near the fire-damaged buildings were still blocked off.

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.
Warren Sterling in a graduate of Reed College of Media at West Virginia University. He interned at Politifact.com before joining The Bellingham Herald as a summer 2019 intern.
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