Lt. Todd E. Dickerboom, Community Liaison Officer, Bellevue Fire Department
On Sunday evening May 25, 2003, at 7:48 p.m., units from the Bellevue Fire Department responded to a reported structure fire at a vacant commercial structure located several blocks north of Factoria at 2930 Richards Road. A first alarm assignment of three Engine Companies, one Truck Company, an Aid unit, a Medic One unit, a Medical Services Officer, and a Battalion Chief all responded to the incident. Additional resources were requested, which included an Engine Company, a Truck Company, and an Air Supply unit from the Bellevue Fire Department, plus an additional Truck Company from Eastside Fire & Rescue. A total of 34 firefighters were on scene to bring the fire under control in approximately 35 minutes. No firefighter or civilian injuries were reported.
In the area at the time of the fire, Bellevue MSO 5 (Medical Services Officer) was the first unit on scene to find black smoke issuing from several broken windows on the backside of a vacant two-story warehouse made of concrete cinder block. When additional companies arrived on scene, firefighters safely entered the smoke filled building to quickly knock down and contain the main body of fire, limiting damage primarily to two rooms on the upper floor. Likewise various degrees of smoke and heat damage was present throughout the same area, and water damage occurred on the floor below.
The origin and cause of this fire is currently under investigation by the Bellevue Fire Department and the Bellevue Police Department. Due to obvious signs of vandalism, as well as credible reports that several juveniles were seen running from the building prior to the fire being reported, investigators are seriously concerned that this fire was purposely set. At this time no arrests have been made. Damage to the structure is estimated to be approximately $200,000. It is not clear as to how long the building has been vacant.
If anyone has additional information that would assist in the investigation of this incident, please contact the Bellevue Police Department at 425-452-6917.