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Fire investigators enter Clark Feed & Seed, but finding cause may take ‘a bit longer’

Drone footage shows devastation at Clark Feed & Seed and Avalon Records

Drone footage over Clark Feed & Seed and Avalon Records shows the devastation of both buildings the day after crews responded to a three-alarm fire Wednesday night, July 18, 2019, in Bellingham, Wash.
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Drone footage over Clark Feed & Seed and Avalon Records shows the devastation of both buildings the day after crews responded to a three-alarm fire Wednesday night, July 18, 2019, in 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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Almost a week after the fire that destroyed landmark downtown businesses Clark Feed & Seed and Avalon Records, Bellingham fire investigators were able to get inside the structure to begin determining what caused the three-alarm blaze.

But Bellingham Fire assistant chief Jay Comfort cautioned that finding an actual cause to the fire usually takes “a bit longer than people think.”

Crews also were called to the 1300 block of Railroad Avenue — the same block that houses what’s left of Avalon, Clark and Hohl Feed & Seed, which was destroyed in a two-alarm fire in February — at 4:59 p.m. Tuesday, July 23, for what was described as an extinguished fire on the PulsePoint app.

Though a few social media reports said the fire was outside Avalon Records, Comfort said it was just a small “bark fire” outside the Starbucks on the corner of Railroad Avenue and East Holly Street.

“Nothing real big,” Comfort said.

More than 20 units responded on July 17 to the fire that is believed to have started at Clark Feed & Seed and spread to Avalon Records. Bellingham Fire captain Dave Pethick told The Herald on Monday, July 22, that after viewing the structure from aerial photos, they believe the area of origin was on the second floor at Clark.

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.
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