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Oil fire spread through an apartment kitchen and a fire suppression system.

Firefighters putting out fire on top of Breier building, photo provided by Drew Jelinek.

By Drew Jelinek

The residents of nine apartments in downtown Bellingham were forced out of their homes Saturday night after a fire.

The Bellingham Fire Department arrived on scene at the Breier Building at 1300 Bay St., above Bayou on Bay restaurant, around 8 p.m. They found an oil fire spreading through an apartment kitchen and a fire suppression system that had not activated, according to Bellingham Fire Chief Bill Hewett.

The initial fire was out by 9:07 p.m., Hewett said. Firefighters spent another 90 minutes making sure the fire had not spread through the attic space above the apartments and that no hidden fire remained.

After doing so, Hewett was able to give a summary to the Western Front, saying no one was injured, and damages from the fire were limited to the single unit, while the other units suffered smoke and water damage. The restaurant on the first floor, Bayou on Bay, also suffered water damage.

Hewett said the nine apartment units on the second floor will remain unoccupied for the time being. Hewett added that all residents who the Bellingham Fire Department talked to have somewhere safe to stay for the night, and the property manager will be in contact with them to figure out long-term housing. 

New information regarding the status of the apartment residents and the state of Bayou on Bay will be updated as it comes in.


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