Firefighters battled a three-alarm blaze that engulfed several stores in downtown Bellingham Wednesday night.
The fire was reported around 7:30 p.m. at Clark Feed and Seed on Railroad Avenue, next to where another pet store, Hohl’s Feed & Seed, was destroyed in a February fire.
Firefighters expected to remain overnight at the fire, which spread from the pet store to adjacent Avalon Records, according to The Bellingham Herald. A crowd of people gathered to watch the blaze, but the fire department advised people to avoid breathing in the smoke.
After the February fire, police arrested a homeless man believed to have lit a fire in the alley behind the pet store to warm himself, according to a statement from police. The man pleaded guilty to first-degree reckless burning in March and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, according to The Bellingham Herald.
The Whatcom Humane Society sheltered 78 animals rescued by firefighters from that blaze.
Seattle Times reporter Asia Fields contributed to this report.