'Heart, sweat and tears' up in smoke: Sequim's Baja Cantina, consignment shop destroyed [with VIDEO and PHOTO GALLERY]
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Firefighters view the remains of the building that housed Baja Cantina and Sequim Consignment on West Washington Street in Sequim late Monday afternoon. —Photo by Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News
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Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News
Firefighters from Sequim and Port Angeles train water on the fire from several directions Monday afternoon.
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Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News
Flames shoot from the Baja Cantina in this view from the neighboring motel. The burning building once was a coffee shop for the ranch-style motel in the same motif.
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Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News
Another view of the fire, including the distinctive neon sign of the Baja Cantina on West Washington Street.
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Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News
Firefighters on the roof of the burning building.
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Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News
View looking west from Washington Street.
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The Baja Cantina is shown as it appeared before Monday's fire. Although it was a Mexican restaurant, the building showed red, white and blue bunting. This photo is from the restaurant's website.

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM –– Firefighters spent much of Monday afternoon battling a blaze that destroyed the building that was home to Baja Cantina and Sequim Consignment Co. at 820 W. Washington St.

With fire crews from Clallam County Fire Districts Nos. 2 and 3 and from the Port Angeles Fire Department at the scene, Fire District No. 3 spokesman Patrick Young said the building was probably a total loss.

“The roof has collapsed over both businesses, and we've got guys up there continuing to spray it down,” Young said.

(EDITOR'S NOTE — Video of the fire, produced by Ed Evans of KSQM radio in Sequim: http://stg.do/dpPg )

Young said officials had not yet been able to investigate the cause of the fire.

Bucket trucks from Fire District No. 3 and Port Angeles Fire Department sprayed the building from above with 2,000 gallons of water per minute, Young said.

Firefighters were called out to the fire around 1:15 p.m.

There were no injuries reported from the fire, though Young said one person who was inside the building when the fire started was treated for smoke inhalation.

Linda Diesen, owner of the building, said it was insured against fire.

“But that doesn't replace all that heart, sweat and tears we put into it,” she said while watching the firefight.

Diesen bought the building, valued at $590,165 by the county assessor, in 2004.

She said she spent much of the past decade renovating the building.

For decades, it was the site of the Red Ranch Inn restaurant and lounge with exterior decor matching the ranch-style motel to the west.

The motel was unharmed.

Fire and police crews closed off West Washington Street at Seventh and Ninth avenues after responding to the blaze.

Westbound traffic on the main street was rerouted north down Seventh Avenue to West Hendrickson Road and south up Priest Road back to West Washington Street.

________

Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: May 19. 2014 11:47PM
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