Two Yakima businesses. Two separate fires. They started just minutes apart and caused hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage.
UPDATE/YAKIMA, WA - Some new information those fires at two Yakima businesses on Tuesday.
A storage facility on South First street and the Audio King building on East Nob Hill Boulevard were heavily damaged.
Firefighters now say somebody started the fires while trying to break into the buildings with a blow torch.
Investigators don't know if the same person is responsible for both incidents. Yakima Police have taken over the case.
YAKIMA, WA - Two Yakima businesses. Two separate fires. They started just minutes apart and caused hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage.
Ron Bemis helps clean up soot and debris after an early morning fire heavily damaged one of his storage building's on the 1500 Block of South First Street. The fire broke out at 4:24 a.m. Tuesday.
"This used to be a stereo install base so I'm guessing that someone thought they were going to steal some stereos but they used a cutting torch on the metal door," said Bemis. "The metal door had styrofoam installation behind it which caught on fire."
Firefighters said they can't confirm if this was the exact cause because it's still very early in the investigation. When asked if it was suspicious, crews said they can't confirm that either but definitely haven't ruled it out.
However, Bemis said this wouldn't be the first time shady activity has happened on his property.
"Over the years when we use to sell Tv's, we were broken into all the time too," said Bemis. "Drive through buildings or break into them. People support drug habits, they need to get in to steal stuff and this won't be the last."
Just a few minutes after the fire on South First Street started crews had to rush to another business that was on fire on East Nob Hill Boulevard. Employees at Audio King didn't want to talk on camera saying they're still shocked at the extent of the damage; $300,000 worth.
Fire crews from Union Gap, East Valley and the Training Center were all called to help because Yakima had so many resources working to contain the first fire.
Yakima firefighters said the outcome of these incidents could have been a lot worse if the surrounding fire departments didn't offer assistance.
Firefighters said they don't have an official cause for the fire at either location. Thankfully, no one was hurt in the two blazes.