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‘It’s a big loss for the city’ neighbor says of Clark Feed & Seed, Avalon Records fire

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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Eliott Glasser was working at Everyday Music across the street from Avalon Records Wednesday, July 17, when he saw a plume of smoke moving down the street.

He stepped outside with others who were gathering along Railroad Avenue and East Magnolia Street and watched as smoke rose from the top of Clark Feed & Seed.

Glasser said his coworker came outside, too, but ran across the street to Avalon Records. As he went in to Avalon, “a bunch of smoke started pouring into the place,” Glasser told The Bellingham Herald on Wednesday night.

Glasser said his coworker asked those in Avalon if they should grab any of the high-priced merchandise in the store, but said they all left due to safety concerns.

Glasser said he watched over several hours Wednesday evening as the fire spread from Clark’s to Avalon.

Bellingham firefighters responded to a commercial fire at Clark Feed & Seed around 7:15 p.m. Wednesday.

Glasser, who was born and raised in Bellingham, said he remembers going into Clark’s and Hohl’s Feed & Seed since he was little. He said he and his coworkers have treated those at Avalon as colleagues, rather than rivals, and that he was “super bummed” to see the businesses damaged by the fire.

“It’s tragic for sure. It’s a big loss for the city I think,” Glasser said.

Wednesday’s fire comes nearly five months to the day after the historic Hohl Feed & Seed, a store that shares a wall with Clark, was destroyed by fire on Feb. 18.

Glasser said it’s peculiar it happened twice in such a short time, and that he spent most of Wednesday watching the fire at Clark’s and Avalon.

“We’re just as curious as to how it started and what happens next as everybody else is,” he said.

Reporter Denver Pratt joined The Bellingham Herald in 2017 and covers courts and criminal and social justice. She has worked in Montana, Florida and Virginia.
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