SEATTLE (AP) — Investigators from the Seattle Fire Department are waiting for a weekend fire to be fully extinguished before trying to determine what caused the four-alarm blaze.

The fire Saturday night on the south side of the Ship Canal in North Queen Anne burned five buildings, including warehouses, on the south side of the Ship Canal, the Seattle Times reported .

Firefighters on Sunday were working to put out hot spots, said Seattle Fire Department spokeswoman Kristin Tinsley. Embers or smoldering fires threatened to reignite the fire. Tinsley said it could take several days to fully extinguish such a large fire.

The three buildings and two sheds are leased by Northwest Millwork and Gascoigne Lumber. Two structures collapsed. Owners said warehouses mostly held lumber and the large amount of combustible material caused the fire to spread quickly.

Tom Davis, president of Gascoigne Lumber, said that all 20 company employees were accounted for. Firefighters have not been able to search the five structures.

Investigators on Sunday evaluated the area.

"Fire investigators will be working to see what the structural integrity is and what areas of the scene they can actually go into," Tinsley said. "Then they'll start their investigations."

Seattle Police Sgt. Verner O'Quin of the department's arson squad said fire investigators do not know what may have caused the fire. O'Quin also said it could take days to get in.

"It's still smoldering and as soon as they stop pouring water on it, it will just flare up again," O'Quin said.

The first report of the fire came in at around 9 p.m. Saturday. An engine company from the Ballard fire station was the first crew on the scene and reported flames up to 100 feet (30.5 meters).


Information from: The Seattle Times,

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