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Fire Damages Historic Si View Park Building
A fire caused by construction workers did close to $200,000 damage to the old
Si View Park building in North Bend last Thursday. All of the children in the preschool
class were safely evacuated, but two North Bend firefighters suffered minor injuries in
battling the blaze.
The fire was started shortly before 2 p.m. on Oct. 15, presumably by a workman's
cutting torch. The park complex is being renovated by the King County Parks
Department and that day the Seattle-based
contracting company was using a torch to remove
old foundation bolts.
When the fire was noticed a little later, spreading up the center face of the
building, the North Bend Fire Department was called. The fire trucks arrived less than
five minutes later, and by then a preschool class that was meeting inside the building was
already watching the smoking structure from the ball
field area a few hundred feet away.
The fire took about three hours to put out. Firefighters from the Snoqualmie and Fire
District 10 departments responded to a call for
assistance. About 26 firefighters fought the
blaze, which included cutting into the roof with
axes to attack flames inside the attic. Cleanup
efforts took several more hours.
"It really took off, since the building
(erected in 1939 and now a King County Historic
Landmark) was of a heavy timber construction with
a lot of varnish, and was tinder-dry," said
North Bend's deputy chief, Tom Needham.
There was a heavy external attack by all the departments involved, but we really
made progress when we went in through the
roof," Needham related. "Then it was a very
tedious overhaul and a lot of checking for spot fires."
The two firefighters who were injured were Ken Mills, who required some sutures in a
finger, and Dave Jones, who had to get a tetanus
shot after stepping on a nail. Both men were in
good condition and out of the hospital the same day.