Three days after a four-alarm fire tore through two large buildings in downtown Bothell, residents and business owners are trying to press forward.
The fire, which started around 2:45 a.m. on Friday morning, began in a building known as the Mercantile Building on Main Street and 102nd Avenue Northeast, before hopping the road and igniting and ultimately destroying the old Bothell Mall building to the west.
Around 20 additional businesses along Main Street sustained water, heat or fire damage, according to a city press release.
As of Monday morning, Banner Bank, Wells Fargo Bank and Rain City Wines had not reopened in addition to the nearly dozen businesses which were destroyed in the Bothell Mall. A tally which Level Seven Salon owner Andrya Rytter O’Brien said was far greater than what the city initially estimated last Friday.
O’Brien’s business was in the Bothell Mall.
“We are all in shock but trying to move forward as quickly as possible,” she said in an email. “All is lost. [The Fire Marshal] will call us when the demolition crews start work and maybe then they can help us but it doesn’t look good.”
O’Brien said she had lost around $250,000 in the fire.
Other businesses in the building included the Bothell Denture Clinic, the Bothell Dental Lab, two acupuncturists and four women were sharing a space for independent businesses, O’Brien said.
According to the Everett Herald, a sister publication of the Reporter, the mercantile building is owned by a limited-liability company with a Seattle address and the 2016 appraisal was for $4.31 million. A partial appraisal of the Kozy Corner Cafe in the Bothell Mall was listed at $1.75 million.
Multiple explosions from combustibles in the Mercantile Building were also reported during the early stages of the fire.
Around 20 agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives National Response Team were brought in to investigate the fire along with local officials. The investigation began Sunday morning and will continue for a week to 10 days.
Fire officials said the blaze does not appear to be suspicious at this point.
Fire and water damage workers were also on site Monday.
Santo Roman owns Rainy City Wine which is directly west of the Bothell Mall, and said their shop and wines hadn’t been damaged much, but that officials weren’t letting them in.
He said before the area was blocked off, he had went into his store to check on the wines, which he said were undamaged.
However, if he cannot get into his business soon, he said many wines may go bad, a situation which combined with a loss in daily revenue, could be “a total loss,” since even insurance agents can’t get in.
Tom Dorsey, owner of the Bothell Main Street Antiques located on the same block as the Bothell Mall, said the fire had affected every business in the area and expressed sympathy for the owners whose businesses were destroyed.
“It’s devastating to those people,” he said. “They’re our neighbors, we’re not quite as devastated, but they bring a lot to the community.”
In an email, Bothell City Council member Tris Samberg said the Council and city staff would focus all their resources on rebuilding. She also thanked first responders for their work.
“The loss of the Mercantile Building and Bothell Mall, and damage to other structures on Main Street is [a] terrible setback for our community,” she said.
The fire comes in the midst of the city’s downtown revitalization project, which included many road enhancements and attracting businesses like the McMenamins Anderson School to Bothell.
City spokesperson Barbara Ramey said the economic impacts of the fire were not immediately clear, but that the city was working on understanding the implications.