An early morning fire in Chelan has claimed an historic downtown building and closed the 100 block of Woodin Avenue at least temporarily.
According to Chief Tim Lemon of Chelan Fire and Rescue the initial call at about 2 am indicating smoke coming from the Historic Market Building at 119 East Woodin Avenue. The Market Building housed Marcela’s Mexican Restaurant and Willow.. a home accent boutique store.
Chef Lemon told Kozi this morning that the Market Building is a complete loss and both businesses were completely destroyed. Two adjoining business’s, The Vogue and The Blue Moon, suffered smoke and some water damage but the fire was contained by structural fire wall to just the Market Building.
Chief Lemon said upon arrival firefighters forced access to Marcela’s Restaurant where the smoke appeared to be coming from. Lemon said the fire appears to have begun in the rear of the building near where the Restaurant and Willow shared a common wall.
Chelan County 7 was joined by Chelan County 5 firefighters shortly after the initial call came in. As the fire spread firefighters were forced to abandon their interior firefighting efforts and evacuate the building. Shortly after evacuating, the first roof collapse occurred followed by several others.
No firefighters were injured in the collapse nor in the firefighting efforts however some fire department equipment was lost when the roof collapsed.
Chief Lemon tells Kozi that is way too early to speculate on cause or exact origination of the fire. The building is a complete loss and considered unstable at this time. Structural engineers have been called in to evaluate when and if investigators can access the building. The sidewalk balcony on the Market Building is a collapse hazard at this point and firefighters will be working to temporarily shore it up with posts.
The 100 Block of Woodin will be closed to vehicular traffic at least for awhile this morning. Chief Lemon estimates it may be up to 72 hours before
Fire Investigators can release the scene to the building owners.
The fire was officially ruled out at 5:51 am and Manson Fire was released from the scene shortly thereafter.
The Historic Market Building is owned by Barb Wadkins and Larry Hibbard.
Chelan Fire and Rescue was aided by Manson Fire District 5, Chelan County 1 and the Pateros Fire Department.
Click here to see all our photos of the fire.