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Hohl Feed & Seed burned five months ago. Here’s why the building ruin remains

Here’s what remains of Hohl Feed & Seed

Fire officials said the fire that destroyed Hohl Feed & Seed in Bellingham, Wash., on Monday, Feb. 18, 2019, was not accidental and likely was caused by a person.
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Fire officials said the fire that destroyed Hohl Feed & Seed in Bellingham, Wash., on Monday, Feb. 18, 2019, was not accidental and likely was caused by a person.

The demolition of the Hohl Feed & Seed building may take longer than expected due to asbestos in its charred remains, according to Kurt Nabbefeld, senior planner for the city of Bellingham.

Located next to Clark Feed & Seed that burned Wednesday, July 17, Hohl Seed & Feed burned five months ago.

Paul Jonathon Wolfe, 56, pleaded guilty to first-degree felony reckless burning and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, according to court records. Wolfe got credit for time served and was released from jail in March.

Now, demolition permits have been filed with the city, but there have been no discussions between the city and the property owners about what kind of building will be built on the Railroad Avenue property, Nabbefeld told The Bellingham Herald.

“Were still working with the contractor,” Nabbefeld said. “When they went in, they found asbestos, and when that happens, there are specific rules and procedures that have to be followed.”

Because specially trained professionals are needed for removal, Nabbefeld said he didn’t know when the building would be demolished.

The fire next door also complicates things, according to Nabbefeld, and could delay the process.

The Hohl Feed & Seed building is owned by a trust for the Gelb and Koplowitz families, according to the county assessor. The owners’ representative has not replied to multiple attempts to contact him.

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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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