NW Red Cross has shared that most residents displaced by the Heritage Building fire have at least
temporary housing with family and friends. At this point, only 5 residents will be transitioned from the shelter at Cascade Middle School to hotel rooms.
In total 39 residents from 35 apartments lost their home when the historic Heritage Building was destroyed in a 3-alarm fire the day after Christmas. There were no injuries caused by the fire outside of smoke inhalation treated at the scene. A dog was lost to the fire.
Moving on after the fire
While the majority of those who lived in the Heritage Apartments are expected to stay in Auburn, the Red Cross shared that two residents will be moving out of Auburn. One resident moved from Auburn on Saturday to live with Family in Moses Lake.
The other resident moving from Auburn is expected to leave Wednesday for Payette, Idaho. He will then go on to Mexico to teach English. Moving to Mexico to teach is something he had been considering, but stated that the fire and losing everything solidified his decision to take the job at the school.
Auburn Community Continues to Support the Victims
On Saturday morning, community members came together to help sort the donations that came pouring in to the Auburn Food Bank for the victims of the fire. While donations were being sorted at the NW Family church, furniture donations were being collected at the Game Farm Park Annex building.
Though closed for the holidays, The Quarters restaurant re-opened for the afternoon on Saturday for a ‘Family Feeding Family’ event. The restaurant accept donations and made care packages for the victims of the Heritage Building fire. As donations were collected, Chef T Woods prepared a meal to be taken to the shelter for those displaced by the fire. Owner Jade Woods praised those who helped make the “Family Feeding Family” event possible; including David Allen (owner of Longhorn Barbecue, Oddfellas Pub & Eatery and Bogey’s Public House) for his generous donation. She encouraged those who are able, to give and for those who do not have the means to “show love, empathy and sympathy.”
Determining the Cause of the Fire
Once Valley Regional Fire Authority investigators were able to get inside the building, it was confirmed that the fire began in a second-floor laundry room. Though originally stated the Heritage Building fire began as a dryer fire, VRFA will be working with insurance companies to perform appliance analysis to determine the exact cause of the fire.
Businesses in the Heritage Building remain closed because of the fire. Owners have been told they may possibly be permitted to enter their businesses to assess the damages by Wednesday. Many businesses on Main Street remain open and community members are encouraged to patronize these downtown businesses.