Tag: roger chirstensen
By Caleb Hutton
BELLINGHAM — Downtown thrift shop Wise Buys will be closed for several weeks because of sprinkler damage from an upstairs apartment fire, the store’s operators announced Thursday, Dec. 20.
Firefighters and police are investigating how the apartment caught fire Saturday. The flames were contained to a single unit, but the water caused a lot more damage than the fire or heat, said Roger Christensen, acting chief of the Bellingham Fire Department.
He wouldn’t say if investigators suspect arson.
“Arson is a finding,” not a label that can be put on an active investigation, he said. Christensen declined to release much information this week. I’ll be checking back soon.
Here’s most of the press release from Wise Buys.
The water damage occurred Saturday, Dec. 15 in response to a fire in an apartment above Wise Buys, located at 1224 N. State St.
Wise Buys is operated by volunteers from Lydia Place, a nonprofit, community-based serving homeless people since 1989. Since Wise Buys is completely run by volunteers, all of its proceeds go to Lydia Place.
“The repairs will be covered by insurance,” said Emily O’Connor, executive director of Lydia Place. “However, much of our merchandise was either damaged or related to the holidays, so we could use donations of gently used clothing and household items when Wise Buys reopens in January.”
Updates about Wise Buys will be available on Lydia Place’s Facebook page and by calling Lydia Place at (360) 671-7663. The public is asked to withhold donations of clothing and household items until the store reopens.
Wise Buys originally was launched in 1974 as Y’s Buys and run by the Bellingham YWCA until Lydia Place assumed operations in the early 1990s.
Lydia Place provides a six-month, multifaceted residential program that supports women and children in their transition from homelessness to independence. Lydia Place also offers support and services for local residents in subsidized housing.
For more information about Lydia Place, call (360) 671-7663 or visit www.lydiaplace.org.