Local fire crews respond to a fire at Mary's Corner on Tuesday night, which caused significant damage to Mary's Corner Deli and Mary's Corner Espresso Company, two businesses who share space in the building where the fire started.
A pair of popular local eateries have suffered significant damage and will be closed indefinitely after a fire started suddenly on Tuesday night.
Local fire crews were called around 7:40 p.m. to Mary's Corner Deli and Mary's Corner Espresso Company, located at the intersection of US Hwy. 12 and Jackwon Hwy., to find a large fire spreading through the building which the two businesses occupy.
Chief Gregg Peterson, of Lewis County Fire District 5, in Napavine, said the fire appears to have started in the northernmost part of the building, which was being used for storage, and had spread to the deli by the time crews arrived. The espresso stand, in the southernmost portion of the building, was largely untouched by the fire, but was said to have suffered significant water and smoke damage.
Firefighters from districts in Toledo, Mossyrock, Chehalis, Salkum, Napavine and Winlock responded, which Peterson said was more a reflection of the need to bring water to the scene because of a lack of local hydrants, rather than the severity of the blaze.
"Water had to come on wheels," he said, saying such responses are typical for fires in rural areas.
Crews had the fire under control within the following hour, but remained on scene to put out hot stops and investigate the damage. It was reported no injuries to either civilians or responders had occurred and no nearby properties were damaged.
Building owner Ae Cha "AJ" Jackins, who had been at home in Rochester when the fire started, said she was very shaken up by the loss, but found a great deal of comfort from community members who had traveled to the scene to check on her and offer their support.
"They're all praying for me tonight," said Jackins, who also owned Mary's Corner Espresso Company. "What a nice feeling."
Jackins had co-owned the building with her husband, Jack Jackins, for the last 16 years and said, while the structure had been insured, it is too early to tell whether or not they will rebuild or re-open their business.
"I love being here," said Mrs. Jackins. "I hardly take any day off because I love to serve here."
Fire Investigator Jay Birley, of the Chehalis Fire Department, said it may not be until next week when he is able to report a potential cause of the fire. It was noted the portion of the building where the fire started had been the location of the facility's electrical connection, while witnesses reported a woman recognized as an employee of the deli had been at the scene when the fire started.