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Heritage Fire Update

City of Auburn, Community Assist Residents and Businesses Following Destruction of Historic Building

AUBURN, December 27, 2017 — At approximately 3 p.m. December 26, Auburn Police and Valley Regional Fire Authority responded to reports of a fire, believed to be originating from a top-floor dryer, at the historic Heritage Building at 134 East Main Street in downtown Auburn. The building was home to 35 residents and nine businesses. All human occupants were safely evacuated from the building and were provided housing by the Red Cross at Cascade Middle School. One dog succumbed to smoke inhalation.  

A total of 33 fire apparatus and 82 fire personnel responded to the fire. Responding agencies included Valley Regional Fire Authority, South King Fire & Rescue, King County Medic One, Puget Sound Fire Authority, Tukwila Fire, Renton Fire Authority, East Pierce Fire & Rescue, King County Fire District #20, Zone 3 Fire Rehab, Zone 3 Fire Explorers, Puget Sound Energy and the Red Cross and City of Auburn personnel. Food and beverages were also provided to first responders throughout the evening by The Soup Ladies and McDonalds.

Due to the extensive damage to the structure, the City has posted an order of no entry to the entirety of the building. Main Street between Auburn Avenue and Auburn Way North remains closed to through traffic until further notice, however businesses on the north side of the street may still be accessed by foot.

“Our heart is heavy as a community for the families and business owners who have lost so much, but I am also uplifted by the immense outpouring of love and compassion from our city and region during this difficult time. I am also deeply grateful to our first responders whose skill and dedication ensured that this event did not become a larger tragedy. We will work together in the coming days, weeks and months to assist all involved in any way possible with their recovery,” said Mayor Nancy Backus.

City Economic Development staff have begun outreach to the affected businesses to assist with recovery and rehabilitation efforts. City Human Services and Emergency Management staff are working with displaced residents to provide essential items during the short-term, as well as assist with long-term housing coordination. Red Cross staff are currently providing day and evening shelter for displaced residents, as well as food, showers and medical assistance.

Individuals wishing to assist with recovery efforts are asked to direct all food, clothing and monetary donations to the Auburn Food Banklinks to external site, 930 18th Place NE. Of particular need are towels, washcloths, toiletries, new or gently used adult clothing, no-cook or ready-to-eat food items (ex: cereal), and money.