Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Fire destroys old building

7:30am yesterday
Yesterday was a weird day. It started when I got a call at 6:15am from my coffee shop friend John that maybe I would be better off driving instead of taking the bus downtown, since there was a big fire right across the street from Avellino's. The old Hohl Feed & Seed building was aflame, with the street blocked off and lots of water running down the entire street. Apparently it also flooded the Bellingham bus terminal, because it was dark and the buses seemed delayed as well. I later learned that the power had been turned off because of the flooding.

After having found a place to get coffee, around 8:00am I walked by the scene and headed to the YMCA where I was getting ready to work out. Other than the lack of traffic lights, everything seemed fine there. But while I was riding the stationary bike at the Y, I began to see dark smoke coming up from the building, where I thought the fire was out. And then I saw this:
The fire had flared up again, and soon there were lots of us looking out the window and wondering if it had jumped to another building. But it turns out that the fire was not completely out of the old building, built in 1901. And even after this was put out, it happened once again.
After my workout, when I walked back to where I parked my car, I saw that the original fire trucks had been joined by more, and if you look carefully here, you can see a stream of water directed right into the building from firemen on the ladder.

No one knows at this time how it started, but there were more than 75 animals saved and transported to the local Whatcom Humane Society. Laura Clark, the executive director, reported to the Bellingham Herald this good news:
"WHS animal control officers arrived on scene and loaded several cages and aquariums filled with animals and immediately transported them back to the Whatcom Humane Society, where our animal care staff was waiting to provide care,” she said.
A few birds succumbed to the smoke, and a large python is missing. Otherwise, all the animals were saved. This morning, other than the demolished building and a few barriers, everything seems to be back to normal. No more flames, thank heavens.


  1. Wow, talk about drama! I always worry that my own house will burn down.

  2. We saw this on the local news last night. A pet store was in part of the building, hence all the animals. Not sure I would want to find the missing python.

  3. Oh, that is so sad, to lose an old building and to jeopardize the pets.

  4. Fire is very hard to control in some of the old buildings. It has a mind of it's own.

  5. Every time I see a fire I'm reminded of what a difficult job it is for fire fighters. I was always amazed at my son's training before he became a fire fighter at Los Alamos. Ummmm.... A python is missing?

  6. Isn’t it amusing how our lives depend on things continuing exactly as they’ve always been. Everything will be back to normal soon I imagine.

  7. Any word on that python? I'm glad so many animals were rescued. This is the sort of thing that often happens on the day of a full moon!

  8. Wow, that a pet store was involved would have really upset me. So glad the majority of the creatures were saved. Firefighters are such heroes. Hope they find the python before a neighbor's pet goes missing.

  9. I used to be an assistant manager in a couple of small pet shops and I immediately thought of the fish, too. They cannot escape. I am soooo glad they got almost all the animals out. They will find the snake in the warmest place it can find that is safe. If not--will probably die in the cold, poor thing. What a morning!

  10. Wow, that's scary. Glad the fire didn't come anywhere near you ... and glad they saved most of the animals.

  11. Dear DJan, I hope that from this scary occurrence, some good will come for the animals and for the firemen who worked so assiduously to put out the embers and for all of you who value the heritage of older buildings.

    It's becoming increasing clear with the wildfires in the West and fires like this how courageous and self-sacrificing are those who respond to these fires. They have a commitment that is inspiring. Peace.


I really appreciate your comments! If you see a word verification box here, just ignore it. I don't use the darn thing and Blogger is trying to get us to use it, I guess. Ignore it and your comment will still appear.