By Margaret Bashour, Contributing Writer
Chain Lake Self Storage celebrated the reopening of part of its facility this weekend after months of reconstruction following a fire that raged through it last November.
The blaze that began early on the morning of Nov. 15, 2012 quickly spread into a three-alarm fire to which over 60 firefighters across multiple King and Snohomish county fire units responded.
Building A, which housed 116 storage units and represented about 20 percent of the entire facility, was completed destroyed. While insurance claims are still in process, the total damage is expected to be over $1 million.
“There were significant reconstruction issues,” said Erica Farmer, Property Manager for Chain Lake Commerce Center.
After complete demolition, Building A took six months to rebuild. It was reconstructed in a similar layout as the previous structure. Other units that were damaged by smoke or fire were cleaned, forcing customers to temporarily relocate their items.
The cause of the fire is still undetermined, but the investigation is ongoing, said Monroe Fire Marshal Michael Fitzgerald.
“There is not a criminal element involved,” he added.
Almost half the Monroe crew dispatched to the fire that night attended the grand reopening celebration this weekend. Some firefighters had worked through the entire night to extinguish the fire.
The event, which included free prizes, a hotdog lunch, and ice cream from Moonie Icy Tunes was put on to thank the community that had helped them.
“We just wanted to give something back. It is our way of saying ‘thanks for hanging in there with us,’” said facility manager Cherie Churchill.
Churchill has had over 21 years of storage management experience and said the Monroe customers at Chain Lake Storage have been the best.
Both Churchill and Farmer were amazed at how supportive their customers were.
“Through that stressful time of losing their cherished belongings, people still asked how we were and if we were okay,” said Farmer.
The fire and subsequent damage significantly impacted business. The tour through the new building during the reopening event was also an opportunity to give people a chance to see inside, and hopefully, said Churchill, they will think of Chain Lake if they ever need storage in the future.
The event also featured a “Stuff the Truck” challenge, where visitors brought non-perishable food items to donate to the Sky Valley Food Bank, for which Chain Lake Self Storage collects items regularly.
Customers can find more information on Chain Lake Self Storage by visiting their website at www.chainlakestorage.com.