Just before 3:00 pm on Tuesday, December 26, 2017, Valley Regional Fire Authority was dispatched to the historic Heritage Building at 134 E. Main St. What began as a dryer fire quickly built to a blaze that would require agencies from Renton, Tukwila, So King County, Maple Valley, Kent and East Pierce to battle.
Auburn Police Department closed off roads surrounding the fire.
The quick response of VRFA saw that all apartments and businesses were evacuated, the first person evacuated being wheelchair bound. One person was treated on scene for but refused transport.
Between the fire and water damage, the building is expected to be considered a total loss. As of 5:00pm the Rainbow Cafe is currently secure, but the fire is not contained so owner Giovanni Di Quattro knows to be cautiously hopeful.
Some of the businesses that will be lost are U-Float Spa, Hidden Entity Tattoo & Piercing, Homeplate Pub, Top Nails, Long restaurant, Avatars Virtual Reality Arcade, and G & E Spa. It is unclear if Bananas Antiques will survive the fire.
The neighboring building that once housed Rottles was not impacted by the fire.
Built in 1921, the Heritage Building is one of Auburn’s oldest buildings. The building did not have sprinklers.
Mayor Nancy Backus was on scene and shared that she is “grateful for our talented firefighters who are able to keep this fire contained. We will do everything possible to help those who have been displaced from their homes and businesses.”
An estimated 40 people lived in the 35 apartments in the building. Some of those housed in the building were homeless, being provided services. Red Cross Northwest has been called in to assist those families who have been displaced. The Auburn Food Bank will also be accepting donations.
We will update with any new information.