Submitted by the Town of Friday Harbor
Thirty agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are arriving in Friday Harbor today to investigate the fire that destroyed a quarter block of businesses in the downtown core. The block of First Street and Spring Street adjacent to the site will remain closed to vehicles during their investigation which is expected to take three to five days. Front Street will be opened temporarily to two-way traffic.
The ATF arson response team is here at the County Fire Marshal’s request to provide resources and assistance. Their arrival is not a response to existing evidence of criminal activity. Additional agents from ATF’s National Response Team were called in due to the island’s limited number of first responders and the necessity to free them up to continue responding to 911 emergencies.
The community is asked to cooperate fully with ATF investigators and to respect the work being done at the site by avoiding the area. Anyone with photos or videos taken in the early morning hours of April 7th or with information that could affect the investigation should contact the Sheriff’s Office at 360-378-4151.
“The public may rest assured the Town, County, and emergency responders are executing a plan to expedite the investigation and reopening of streets and neighboring businesses,” said Town Administrator Denice Kulseth. “For your safety and that of the those protecting and inspecting the site, please do not enter adjacent buildings and rooftops as the integrity of those buildings has likely been affected by the intense heat.”