Firefighters were dispatched around 0250 on Saturday morning after multiple 9-11 callers reporting heavy flames from the commercial building.
First due fire crews arriving on scene reported a fully engulfed building prompting a higher level of response, additional fire apparatus and manpower elevating it to a 3-Alarm incident. A thermal column could be seen by responding firefighters from all over the City and as far as away as Snohomish County, approximately 30 miles.
Due to the high flames and intensity of the fire load with heavy fuels inside, crews were forced to go defensive on the fire.
Fire Captain Chuck Heitz [MSO5] took the photo of the dealership fully engulfed in flames, described the eerie sound of malfunctioning honking horns from the vehicles inside the showroom.
The Prestige Ford dealership also known as the Auto Nation Ford dealership is located at NE 4/116 Ave NE is located on Bellevue’s “Auto Row”, quickly turned from an upscale looking building to a destroyed structure with parts of its infrastructure collapsed. Brand new cars inside it’s showroom were completely destroyed.
- Engine 1 [Downtown Bellevue]
- Engine 2 [Eastgate/Bellevue]
- Engine 4 [Factoria/Bellevue]
- Engine 5 [NE24 St/Bellevue]
- Engine 6 [Bridle Trails/Wilburton/Bellevue]
- Engine 9 [Newcastle/Bellevue Fire]
- Engine 12 [Redmond Fire]
- Engine 22 [108 Ave NE/Kirkland Fire]
- Engine 26 [Totem Lake/Kirkland]
- Engine 91 [Mercer Island]
- Light Force 3 [Bellevue Fire]
- Light Force 7 [Bellevue Fire]
- Ladder 16 [Redmond Fire]
- Ladder 27 [Kirkland Fire]
- Engine 72 [Eastside Fire and Rescue]
- Medic 1
- Medic 2
- Aid 1 [Bellevue Fire]
- Air Unit 1 [Bellevue Fire]
- MSO 5 [Bellevue Fire]
- Battalion 1 [Bellevue Fire]
- Battalion 21 [Kirkland Fire]
- Battalion 91 [Mercer Island]
None was reported.
Reports of dozens of cars along with the dealership’s showroom and building are a total loss. No loss has been released as of yet.
As of 1100 hours today, the building was still smoldering and crews were still completing additional overhaul on the building.
There has been no determination made by the Fire Investigator but reports of the flames being seen in the north side of the roof have been reported by media sources.
Trending questions from the public ask now that there has been a fire, what happens to all the customer’s vehicles that were being serviced. We have yet to find the answers but we will get back to you.
There are jokes making fun of cars with large discounts during a fire sale but the employees and management say this is no laughing matter. Comments made by some whom may work there are worried how they are going to feed and take care of their families in light of the fire.
We are thinking of the employees who have lost their jobs temporarily. We are hoping the dealership will rebuild and bring back those jobs.
ABOUT THE FIRE BUILDING
The dealership formerly known as Prestige Ford was purchased by Auto Nation Bellevue. It currently owns the building it resides in but not the land which is owned by Dog Walk LLC.
Tax records reveal their property taxes are current and have remained the same since 2007, with no increases within that time period. The building was built in 1971, and its construction is made out of reinforced construction, says the Tax Assessor’s Office. It’s quality states it is considered as low construction costs and workmanship, defined by the King County as having a “small simple design”.
To get the gist of the size of this event and the magnitude of the fire upon this building, it is listed as 31,375 square feet on a 192,386 square foot lot.
We were unable to find records stating if the building did or did not have fire sprinklers but in reviewing photos on their website, it appears they did not have – or not at least in the showroom photos.
Firefighters from various Eastside departments came together, working really hard to contain the fire from spreading any further or to nearby exposure buildings. We want to say with much respect, great job!
[c] 2015 The NW Fire Blog