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Fire spread quickly in downtown Seaside Tuesday morning, September 18th, in the area of Avenue B and Highway 101. The fire reportedly began in Commercial Linen, a former laundromat, around 9:26am. It quickly grew to become a three then four-alarm fire with a total of six area fire departments responding to keep it under control. A total of four buildings, including the adjacent Seaside Foods, were hit by the flames with the Seaside Foods building experiencing a full roof collapse. The laundromat and an adjacent warehouse were completely destroyed.
City Manager, Mark Winstanley reported that two firefighting personnel were injured fighting the blaze with one transported to Seaside Providence Hospital and released. Another firefighter went to the hospital Tuesday evening to reduce the swelling on a sprained ankle.
In addition to the Seaside Volunteer Fire Department, firefighters from Cannon Beach, Gearhart, Warrenton and Hamlet assisted. Astoria firefighters covered for the Gearhart department. Other agencies, from as far away as Tillamook and Columbia County were put on alert. According to Seaside Fire Chief Joey Daniels every firefighter in the county was mobilized to combat this fire.
The laundromat was reportedly vacant at the time the fire broke out although, according to news articles on a trailer catching fire near the building last year, transients were known to sleep there.
The fire investigation is continuing. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.
ODOT and State Police as well as Seaside Police Department helped control traffic on HWY 101 and surrounding roads. Avenues A and B between Roosevelt Drive and Holladay Drive were blocked to traffic and, as of Wednesday afternoon, Avenue B remains closed to vehicle traffic as the investigation continues.