Fire strikes Eldorado Stone again
October 2, 2008 · Updated 3:30 PM
CARNATION - The all too familiar sight of smoke clouds greeted
the residents of Carnation last week, as a fire claimed another
one of Eldorado Stone's buildings.
The fire began around 2:45 a.m. last Friday, at the company's
8,000-square-foot manufacturing plant at 31567 West Entwhistle
Street. Three night-shift workers discovered the blaze and called
emergency crews, who arrived within minutes, officials said. No
one was injured.
Backup crews from Duvall, Redmond and Fall City were called in
to help Eastside Fire and Rescue battle the blaze. A lack of
water pressure from one of the fire hydrants, however, stalled
crews for a few minutes while they scrambled to use an alternate
water source near QFC.
"We initially took an offensive attack, but when we
determined there weren't enough fire crews and water resources,
we called it a defensive mode," said Deputy Chief Jon
Fallstrom of Eastside Fire and Rescue.
Carnation's city administrator Woody Edvalson said the water
situation stemmed not from a lack of water, but from inadequate
pressure. He explained that the city has a "gravity
feed" water system, and during times of high demand someone
needs to physically turn on the well in Loutsis Park.
Another issue is that some of the city's water pipes - mostly
in the downtown residential area - are much smaller than today's
8-inch standard pipe. The city is planning to upgrade its water
system, which might include installing a supplemental system that
would turn on the water well automatically during times of
emergency, Edvalson said.
Despite the initial problems, firefighters were able to
contain the blaze within several hours and kept it from spreading
through the building, said Fallstrom. Much of the right side of
the concrete structure that had "1941" on its side was
spared, but the adjoining wood-frame structure was destroyed,
leaving behind charred remains.
The building on West Entwhistle was the company's shipping and
production center. Eldorado Stone moved its main office to the
old IOOF building on Tolt Avenue after the first fire.
"It was deja vu," said owner John Bennet of the
latest fire, which also coincidentally erupted before a major
holiday weekend. The last fire, which totally destroyed the
building that housed Eldorado Stone and NAPA Auto Parts, happened
the week before the Fourth of July.
Though the fire has once again put a halt to production, it
has not broken the spirits of the company and its workers.
"We intend to keep everyone working," Bennett said.
"This was a hit to production, but we can set up
The King County Fire Marshal has not yet determined the cause
of the blaze, which officials said caused about $500,000 in
"We need to see what the cause was, [because] it was
mysterious," said Bennett. "The building had little
electricity and there wasn't much to catch fire."
The previous fire, on June 30, was blamed on a faulty space
heater in Eldorado Stone's drying room.