A large fire in downtown Oakville on the night of July 4th claimed three vacant buildings. Oakville Fire Chief Bill Rodocker reports no injuries, “[It was ] 10:03 pm last night when we arrived on scene. Three buildings involved; a small house, what was the old hardware store, and then the brick building on the end here used to be a liquor store years ago. All of the buildings were abandoned. The owner of the hardware store is out of the area.”
He said two of the buildings were fully involved when they arrived at the corner of US Highway 12 and State Street in Oakville, “When we arrived on scene the house and the hardware store were fully involved – flames probably 60 feet in the air, pretty hot fire.”
Crews from Grays Harbor Fire District #12 in McCleary, District #1 in Oakville and District #5 in the Brady Satsop area were joined by West Thurston, and the Riverside Fire Authority overnight.
Rodecker also thanked the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Grays Harbor PUD for their support. A large shovel contributed by Willis Enterprises was used Wednesday morning to demolish and spread the remaining rubble.
The homes across the alley behind the buildings were evacuated last night, but not damaged by the fire. “We were able to put two tenders on the backside and keep it from crossing the alley.” One neighbor said he didn’t have any place to go so the family walked down the block and watched the fire through the night.
While Chief Rodecker said the cause is under investigation, this neighbor said he thinks he saw the bottle rocket that started the fire.”So we were sitting there in the chair watching fireworks when a bottle rocket hit the side of that building, dropped down, and then the flames started.” I made sure the man’s statement made it to investigators, but again; the chief said an official cause of the fire is under investigation.
The folks at Grays Harbor Scanner have setup a photo gallery with contributions from some neighbors. http://ghscanner.com/index.php/ghs-head-news/item/2429-old-time-oakville-hardware-store-burns-4th-of-july-evening-photo-gallery