A fire has destroyed most of the Blue Sea Systems warehouse in Cordata, Washington. The company told the Bellingham Herald that damages could run into the millions of dollars.
The two-alarm fire happened last Saturday morning at 2:00 am. Assistant Chief Bill Hewett of Bellingham Fire Department told the paper that no injuries were reported and the cause was still being investigated. According to the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office, the 28,000-square-foot building was valued at $2 million for the 2017-2018 tax year.
About 75 people work at the Bellingham location. It includes offices, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution.
Lee Gordon, a spokesman for Mercury Marine, which oversees Blue Seas in its Power Products business, told Trade Only Today that the company has moved into a temporary location in Bellingham, “thanks to generous offers” from the local business community.
“We are identifying options for a permanent location in Bellingham,” said Gordon. “Ideally, we will find a location that can house both office and production, but we have a few good options to look at.”
Gordon praised firefighters’ effort to limit the loss by protecting Blue Sea’s inventory. “We knew the damage was going to be extensive, but the fire department helped to mitigate the impact,” Gordon told the paper.
Hewitt said the fire department is still working to determine the cause of the fire. “There was no immediate threat to life, so we focused on fighting the fire from the exterior,” Hewett told the paper. “We were able to protect a portion of the building.”
Hewett said 35 firefighters responded to the blaze. They used ladder trucks and hoses on the ground to direct thousands of gallons of water per minute into the building to prevent flames from breaching the firewall. Most of the fire was out by 5 a.m.
“We don’t know the extent of the damage at this time,” said Gordon. “The fire department is working on the situation and we haven’t been able to get in to see if the finished goods inside are still intact but we are hopeful. Unfortunately, the raw materials are gone.”
Gordon said support from the community and especially the fire department has been “incredible,” adding that it was fortunate there were no injuries. “Our employees have been very resilient throughout this,” he added. “We intend to remain in Bellingham.”
Gordon said more information would be available next week.