Fire prompts Sequim Elks Club evacuation

SEQUIM — About 20 people were evacuated from the Sequim Elks Lodge during a Bloodworks Northwest blood drive after smoke caused by a long-smoldering fire filled an office at the 143 Port Williams Road building.

The fire prompted the evacuation at about 9:30 a.m. Monday. No one was hurt. The evacuation ended at about 11 a.m.

“It could have been pretty bad,” Jim Headley, Lodge Exalted Ruler-CEO, said Tuesday.

Headley said Elks Club activities such as housing Boy Scout Troop 1498 and hosting Bingo will continue unabated but administrative functions will move to another part of the lodge for the more than 520-member organization.

Headley said the building, valued at $450,000 according to the Clallam County Assessor’s Office, will be repaired for “probably close to $20,000” after unrelated but newly discovered water damage from a leaky hose bib is fixed, too.

Duty Fire Chief Dan Orr of Sequim-area Fire District 3 said initial indications were the fire appeared to start at an electrical outlet that ignited bark below and worked its way behind the siding and into the sub-floor.

Headley said an electrician later ruled out an electrical malfunction and speculated that beauty bark spontaneously combusted or that someone may have thrown a lit cigarette next to the building.

Orr said by the time firefighters arrived, two or three floor joists had burned and smoke had saturated an office almost down to the floor.

“If I was a betting man, I’d say it was sitting in there punking around for at least a day or two,” Orr said.

“It’s a good thing people were there or it could have sat there and poked along for quite some time.”

Headley said that during bingo from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, players smelled smoke but, unable to find the source, thought it was emanating from area chimneys.

________

Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected] peninsuladailynews.com.

More in News

Name of Littleneck Beach in Blyn gets state approval

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Board on Geographic Names has approved a… Continue reading

Award recognizes health care collaboration

The executive director of Olympic Community of Health, which serves… Continue reading

OlyCAP offers jobs programs

New employment resources are now available through the Olympic Community Action Programs… Continue reading

EYE ON CLALLAM: County considers moving Emergency Operation Center

Clallam County commissioners will discuss moving the Emergency Operation Center at a… Continue reading

EYE ON JEFFERSON: County sets public hearing on proposed ordinance Monday night

Jefferson County commissioners will conduct a public hearing on a proposed ordinance… Continue reading

Pacific marten topic of Perspectives lecture Tuesday in Port Angeles

The search for the elusive Pacific marten in Olympic… Continue reading

Port Angeles officials to spend night on the streets

After spending a night at Serenity House of Clallam… Continue reading

Most Read