According to a South King Fire & Rescue press release, fire patterns and early photos and videos indicate the fire that destroyed nine businesses at a Federal Way shopping complex on 320th Street Sunday morning started at the north end. The cause, however, remains under investigation. Courtesy Shelley Pauls

Cause of destructive fire at Federal Way shopping complex still unknown

The cause of the two-alarm fire that destroyed nine businesses in a Federal Way building complex Sunday will likely not be determined for some time.

In a press release issued Wednesday evening, South King Fire & Rescue Fire Marshal and Deputy Chief Gordon Goodsell said SKFR, the Federal Way Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are working together to determine the cause. The ATF is assisting in processing the fire scene and conducting interviews. The FWPD has provided an interpreter for witness interviews and will be responsible for criminal investigation if one is discovered.

According to the press release, based on fire patterns and early photos and videos, officials believe the fire originated in the north end of the building, 2020 S 320th St., in the Center Plaza across from The Commons mall.

“The volume of fire debris, along with the many potential sources of ignition, makes for a time-consuming and complicated investigation,” Goodsell said in the update. “For this particular fire, the investigation will include bringing in subject-matter experts and electrical engineers to examine the scene. This detailed examination may go on for a couple of weeks.”

Officials set up a fence around the perimeter of the building, and 24-hour security is in place until the investigation is complete.

The fire was reported at 4:25 a.m. Sunday. By the time the first SKFR firefighters arrived at 4:30 a.m., flames were shooting out the front of one of the businesses and through the roof of the 22,000-square-foot building, fire officials reported earlier this week. The complex did not have a fire alarm or sprinkler system.

More in News

Jailbreak: Cities criticize Federal Way’s decision to leave SCORE

Federal Way mayor responds sharply to criticism leveled at that decision by partner cities.

Rape allegation against Sen. Joe Fain divides King County Council

In a recent interview, Councilmember Kathy Lambert blamed Fain’s accuser for the alleged rape. Then Lambert’s colleagues distanced themselves from her comments.

Mother of man fatally shot by Federal Way police files lawsuit against city

Suit claims man was experiencing a mental health episode and not a danger to others.

Longtime community volunteer starts nonprofit to help families, students

Organization helps with diapers, student expenses.

Paul Allen, shown in 2015. Courtesy of the Herald
Paul Allen dead at 65

Microsoft co-founder, developer, and philanthropist struggled with cancer for decades

Buckholz burns rubber, sets world record

Federal Way man becomes Guinness World Record holder.

Robbery suspects flee after attempted rape at Federal Way business

The suspects attempted to rape victim at gunpoint and strangled her.

Federal Way community rallies to help woman stabbed in domestic violence attack start over

GoFundMe set up to help family with moving costs, storage fees during the housing transition.

Most Read