Early on the morning of November 10, a fire broke out at Blue Sea Systems’ facilities in Bellingham, Washington. Blue Sea Systems manufactures marine electrical parts and employs about 75 people in Bellingham who work in manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution offices. No one was injured in the fire. The Bellingham Fire Department was dispatched at 0200 hours due to an activated fire alarm and found smoke and fire at Blue Sea Systems, according to Bill Hewett, Assistant Chief of Bellingham Fire Department. The cause of the fire is unknown and currently being investigated.
Damage estimates weren’t immediately available, according to Lee Gordon, spokesman for Mercury Marine, which owns Blue Sea Systems’ parent company, Power Products. The value of the building was listed at $2 million for the 2017-2018 tax year, according to the Whatcom County Auditors Office. This figure, plus the value of whatever was inside the warehouse, could bring the total damage into the millions.
Gordon praised the Bellingham firefighters for their efforts in saving as much of the warehouse as possible. Hewett said that firefighters quickly determined that no one was in the building, allowing them to stay on the exterior and more effectively fight the fire. Efforts were focused on saving a firewall that separated the company’s engineering division from the rest of the building. Firefighters used ladder trucks and large nozzle hoses to pour thousands of gallons of water a minute into the building to save the firewall, and employed powerful fans to pressurize the inside of the building, limiting smoke damage to the unburned areas. Thirty-five firefighters fought the fire and had it mostly extinguished by 0500 hours. The concrete walls were at risk of collapsing and had to be stabilized before the fire department could begin its investigation into the fire’s cause.
Gordon said the company has moved to a temporary location and is trying to decide on a new permanent location in Bellingham. Gordon said that there has been an incredible outpouring of support from the local community and fire department and that the employees have remained resilient throughout the ordeal. Gordon also mentioned that Blue Sea Systems intends to remain in Bellingham.