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Cause of fire in downtown building still unknown

The cause and origin of a fire that consumed much of the vacant building on the corner of Fleet Street and Pioneer Avenue in Montesano is still unknown as of Monday afternoon.

Montesano Fire Chief Corey Rux said an outside investigation team has been hired by the company the building was insured by and the team is continuing to investigate the fire along with the assistance of the Montesano Fire Department, Montesano Police Department and the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office.

On Monday, structural engineers shored up the external walls of the building to make if safe for investigators to enter and conclude their assessment of the damage.

“I do not have any time table as to when the investigation will conclude,” Rux said.

The chief also said he did not have a time frame for when the section of Pioneer Avenue that was closed for security reasons during the fire would be reopened for traffic. Rux gave a preliminary estimate of $400,000 for the amount of damage caused by the fire between Monday night and Tuesday morning.

The building had housed Pizza Express, a laundromat and technology company Network Solutions until April, when all of the businesses moved out.

Building owner Stormy Glick didn’t return messages seeking comment.