Responders found a suspicious device in the rubble of a fire in an empty Hoquiam business last night. Investigators were on scene at the former site of The Detour Bar and Grill, and Gamburs, well into this morning after an officer found an unexploded incendiary device in the building last night.
Sgt. Jeff Salstrom with the Hoquiam Police Department said a resident of Emerson Manor spotted smoke coming from the building at 708 Simpson Avenue around 10:30 pm Thursday night.
The Hoquiam fire department responded to the two-alarm fire along with crews from Aberdeen due to the nature of the fire. Salstrom said the fire had almost put itself out in the boarded-up building until crews began venting the smoke. A small fire was quickly knocked down, with no injuries reported.
Salstrom said while investigating the fire they found evidence of forced entry into the building. An officer also found a suspicious device which prompted a response from the Washington State Patrol bomb squad. Salstrom said the device was x-rayed and confirmed to be a “valid device.”
The owner of the building was contacted overnight and responded. A search warrant has been obtained for the location, and crews will be on scene for a while.
The investigation is ongoing at this time. Officers and fire officials will be at the location throughout the morning. A preliminary assessment of the building found it to be structurally sound. Fire personnel estimate there is $15,000 damage to the building. The owner was notified and is cooperating in the investigation.