It has been a month since fire consumed the Historic Market Building in downtown Chelan, destroying two businesses as well as affecting several others
Marcella’s Mexican Restaurant and Willow, a popular home décor and gift shop, were both completely gutted by the fire and neighboring businesses, The Vogue and Blue Moon, suffered smoke damage and some minor structural damage.
The fire investigation was completed last week. A dozen fire investigators from around the northwest were brought in by insurance companies representing building owners, tenants, adjacent businesses and contractors to investigate the cause of the fire. Cause and origin investigators and forensic electrical engineers thoroughly examined the building. The investigators removed possible evidence that is being taken to a laboratory where it will be examined further.
Tenants, owners, and contractors were questioned with regard to all construction and operation of the Market Building since it was completely remodeled in 2007. At that time of the remodel all of the electrical wiring, HVAC, and plumbing was replaced and fire walls were all brought up to code. It is believed the fire started between the ceiling and the roof between the businesses however the exact cause of the fire has not been determined.
Fire investigators have released the building to the owners, Barb Wadkins, Jon Wadkins, Larry Hibbard and Mary Murphy, making it possible for the cleanup process to get started.. A hazardous materials survey has been completed and the owners are soliciting bids from demolition companies. The plan is to have the demolition completed and the sidewalk passable again by the end of this month.
The owners are committed to rebuilding the Market Building, keeping its historical characteristics and creating a new home for Willow and Marcella’s. The projected completion date is Spring of 2012.