The century-old building in West Seattle that houses the Highland Park Improvement Club was shuttered after a fire early Friday. The HPIC, which has long provided a community lifeline, operated a community refrigerator and served up to 600 hot lunches a week during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A fire was reported in the building at 1116 Southwest Holden Street around 1:32 a.m. Friday, according to the Seattle Fire Department.
On Facebook, the HPIC posted video and pictures of the damage.
“We are waking up to the shocking news of a fire over night at our beloved HPIC,” the post said. “Huge gratitude to our local fire department Station house 11 on Holden and 16th. Had they been 10-20 seconds later in their response the damage would have been much greater. Huge gratitude for the person driving by who called in the fire. Huge gratitude that no one was hurt.
“In the words of Captain Whitehair, SFD, ‘The building has good bones.’
“That’s right. She has good bones.”
For the time being, the club’s lunch service is on hiatus, along with the community fridge. “It hurts our hearts to have to do this, but safety first,” the post said.
According to the club’s Facebook page, the HPIC was founded in 1919. It is one of the city’s oldest nonprofit neighborhood clubs.