Fire Chief: Pagoda Fire 'Suspicious' - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Fire Chief: Pagoda Fire 'Suspicious'

TACOMA, Wash. - A two-alarm fire that caused significant damage to a landmark pagoda building at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma is being considered "suspicious in nature," the Tacoma Fire Department said."(The cause) is still undetermined but it is suspicious in nature," said Tacoma Assistant Fire Chief Faith Mueller during a live interview at noon on KIRO 7 Eyewitness News.Mueller added that the fire started in the basement.

"We'll be doing a whole lot more investigating," she said.Tacoma police and arson investigators are at the scene.Firefighters were called about 4:30 a.m. Friday by a security guard who noticed the fire and called 911.When crews arrived, the fire was burning out of control inside the building. Firefighters were still battling flames and putting out hot spots hours later.

KIRO 7 learned Friday that someone broke into the Pagoda a few weeks ago, but fire officials said there was no indication anyone broke in Friday or that the two incidents were related. The pagoda in the park's Japanese garden is a replica of a 17th century Japanese lodge and used to be used as a waiting room for street cars.

It is now used for functions and accommodated up to 200 people for weddings, memorial services and parties.A wedding that was planned there for June had to be canceled because of the fire.Gosnell and her husband, Mark, came to see the fire for themselves Friday and called their daughter to tell her the wedding couldn't happen.

"We just sent out all the invitations, so now we've got to find somewhere else to go," said Earlinda Gosnell, the bride's mother. "She said, 'It's all right, mama. We'll do it anyway, we'll handle it, it's fine.' She handled it much better than I did."The Tacoma Parks Department said on weekdays, the pagoda is used for Tacoma School's Science and Math Academy."It's part of our history -- it's Tacoma's history," said Marina Becker of Tacoma Parks.

"It's just a very special building and this is a very sad day."There is a full kitchen inside and firefighters said the bulk of the fire was in that area.The building is nearly 100 years old. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Copyright 2011 by KIROTV.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • "My son was just gone": mother of kidnapped baby speaks out about online danger

    "My son was just gone": mother of kidnapped baby speaks out about online danger

    Tuesday, November 21 2017 12:30 AM EST2017-11-21 05:30:18 GMT
    Police say Fern Littlecalf kidnapped a babyPolice say Fern Littlecalf kidnapped a baby

    SPOKANE, Wash.- The mother of a 6-month old baby who was kidnapped as part of an elaborate online scam is speaking out, urging everyone to be careful who they meet on the internet.  Lekeisha Johnson, from Kennewick, says she thought she'd been in a relationship with a man for weeks, but then she found out that her supposed boyfriend never existed in the first place. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash.- The mother of a 6-month old baby who was kidnapped as part of an elaborate online scam is speaking out, urging everyone to be careful who they meet on the internet.  Lekeisha Johnson, from Kennewick, says she thought she'd been in a relationship with a man for weeks, but then she found out that her supposed boyfriend never existed in the first place. 

    >>
  • Two people dead, another in serious condition in Lewiston; Detectives looking for person of interest

    Two people dead, another in serious condition in Lewiston; Detectives looking for person of interest

    Tuesday, November 21 2017 3:23 PM EST2017-11-21 20:23:39 GMT

    LEWISTON, Idaho - Detectives with the Lewiston Police Department are searching for a person of interest in a double homicide that happened early Tuesday morning.  Police found two deceased adults in a home near 6th and Preston just after 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday. A third adult victim was also found int he home with a stab wound to his back. 

    >>

    LEWISTON, Idaho - Detectives with the Lewiston Police Department are searching for a person of interest in a double homicide that happened early Tuesday morning.  Police found two deceased adults in a home near 6th and Preston just after 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday. A third adult victim was also found int he home with a stab wound to his back. 

    >>
  • SUV driver crashes into De Leon Foods and then takes off

    SUV driver crashes into De Leon Foods and then takes off

    Tuesday, November 21 2017 10:20 AM EST2017-11-21 15:20:29 GMT
    Courtesy De Leon FoodsCourtesy De Leon Foods

    SPOKANE, Wash.- Spokane Police are looking for the person who crashed into De Leon Foods on Francis in north Spokane. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash.- Spokane Police are looking for the person who crashed into De Leon Foods on Francis in north Spokane. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/