Kirkland businesses damaged by early-morning fire

A Kirkland strip mall is badly damaged after an early morning fire that may have started in a dry cleaning business near NE 85th street and Redmond Way.

The fire was out by 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, though firefighters were keeping an eye on hot spots. Some of the businesses were a total loss.

Passers-by saw the fire and started calling 911 around 3:00 Wednesday morning. Kirkland Firefighters arrived within minutes - but the flames had already spread so far that crews had to retreat outside the building and call for backup.

Kirkland Fire Deputy Chief Tim Day says the entire building is damaged by fire, smoke, water, or some combination of the three.

"The fire has traveled across the roof structure of the entire strip mall," Day explained. "[It's] always challenging when it gets into the overhead of the business; you can imagine, attic space, there's a lot of hidden spaces, a lot of material up there; it's hard to get to all of it and it takes some time."  He says crews won't know exactly how bad the damage is until later Wednesday at the earliest, but praised firefighters for stopping the flames before they reached a nearby paint business.

One future concern will be run-off from the  firefighting efforts. The department is already working with the City of Kirkland to keep potentially contaminated water from getting into local waterways.