HomeAsian AmericansSeattle Fire Destroys Former Viet-Wah Supermarket

Seattle Fire Destroys Former Viet-Wah Supermarket

A blaze consumed the former Viet-Wah Supermarket in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District on Monday, prompting a response from over 85 firefighters.

According to My Northwest, the fire started at approximately 12:03 a.m. and continued to burn for over 16 hours. FOX 13 Seattle reports that it burned for over 16 hours.

Due to the fire, Jackson Street was closed. This caused significant disruptions, such as the streetcar services being discontinued. 

Crews from the Seattle Fire Department took a defensive stance, according to KIRO 7, dousing the building’s exterior with water and using several ladder trucks to put out flames that were coming from above.  

This fire marks a concerning trend. The abandoned structure, now left in disrepair, adds to a series of four vacant buildings engulfed in flames across Seattle within the past week. 

Although this building hasn’t been occupied for roughly two years, it holds an immense amount of memories for the community. 

Seattle City Council member Tanya Woo told FOX 13 Seattle, “I remember going there on the weekends, shopping with my mom when I was a kid. It was one of our only large grocery stores in the Chinatown-International District.”

Woo emphasized that not all property owners intentionally neglect their buildings and advocated for considerate measures to safeguard property owners, particularly in under-resourced communities such as the Chinatown-International District, from being compelled to sell their properties

“We need to make sure we do it thoughtfully, so we’re not forcing property owners to have to sell… making sure they’re working towards a solution instead of letting it sit there,” Woo said, per FOX 13 Seattle.

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