Fire. Nobody likes a fire. Especially a business owner. Chain Lake Storage in Monroe, Washington, knows because a fire broke out at their storage facility last November and caused extensive damage to their facility.
The fire broke out in the early morning hours on November 20th. It was a difficult fire to fight because of where it was located. The storage units are in three separate buildings which are in rows. The fire was in the central row about halfway in the middle of the building. It soon grew from a one-alarm fire to a three-alarm fire. More than 60 firefighters from the city and the surrounding cities battled the fire.
Firefighters couldn’t use a ladder truck to fight the fires. And, it was too dangerous to send firefighters into the building. So, they had to knock their way through the outer walls to get hoses to the fire. By the time firefighters left the scene 10 hours later, 186 units were either destroyed or damaged.
Some renters were lucky in that their units were not affected by the fire. One couple had four-wheelers, tools for their business, and a great deal of art supplies in their unit. All were unscathed by the fire. Others weren’t as fortunate. One woman lost all of her inventory for her eBay business.
Now, 9 months later Chain Lake Storage has been renovated. Their Building A was totally demolished and then rebuilt with 116 units (the same amount that were burned in the fire). And, the units that were damaged by fire or smoke have been cleaned and fixed up.
Recently, Chain Lake Storage celebrated the grand reopening of their reconstructed facility. They held a contest where people guessed how many balloons were in a large unit. Curt Fridell won a Microsoft Surface RT tablet computer when his guess came the closest to the correct number of balloons.
There were free prizes, a hotdog lunch, tours of the new facility, and ice cream from Moonie Icy Tunes. Cherie Churchill, facility manager, said she wanted to give something back to the community and to say thanks for “hanging in there with us.” (As a note of interest, almost half of the firefighting crew that fought the fire attended the reopening celebrations.)
Chain Lake Storage also held a “Stuff the Truck” challenge. Visitors to the grand opening were encouraged to bring non-perishable food items. The food was donated to the Sky Valley Food Bank because Chain Lake Storage regularly collects and donates food to that food bank.
“Chain Lake Storage rebuilds, reopens building destroyed by fire last fall.” The Monroe Monitor & Valley News; 14 August 2013.
“Fire destroys 81 units at Chain Lake Storage.” The Monroe Monitor & Valley News; 20 November 2012.