‘A knot in my stomach’: Downtown Snoqualmie fire damages, destroys several businesses

SNOQUALMIE, Wash. — A building complex on Railroad Avenue Southeast, a busy main road in downtown Snoqualmie, caught fire Sunday morning at about 5:15 a.m.

The building is home to Snoqualmie Ice Cream, Chickadee Bakeshop, Snoqualmie Pie Company and Littlest Wishes Photography, leaders of the City of Snoqualmie said. All four businesses were impacted, but most of the damage was left on the backside of the building along Falls Avenue Southeast.

No one was inside the building at the time of the fire, city officials added.

Snoqualmie police officer Corey Hendricks first smelled the smoke Sunday morning at about 5:07 a.m., the city shared. He quickly searched for the fire, which possibly saved the lives of nearby families and businesses, a couple of business owners said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The building’s owner told KIRO 7 News an electrical issue sparked the fire.

A spokesperson for the King County Sheriff’s Office said their fire investigation unit is looking into the cause, however, they believe it’s accidental.

There are no reported injuries or deaths.

The City of Snoqualmie told KIRO 7 News they do not have an estimate on the total damage, as of Sunday afternoon, however, they believe they will receive a report from King County investigators sometime this week.

The city is working to see how it can help affected businesses, a spokesperson added.


KIRO 7 News spoke with Kathryn Podschwit and Dorie Ross, the co-owners of Snoqualmie Pie Company and Chickadee Bakeshop, which opened in 2023 and 2020.

Both said it would cost them a minimum of $100,000 to repair the damage. However, the businesses are a total loss.

Ross said she spotted the fire early Sunday morning from her home.

“It was insane. It was literally up above the tree. They (fire) were huge. The entire top floor was completely engulfed,” she said.

Both said they’re concerned about their workers who are depending on them to pay the bills and feed their families.

“That’s how we make our living. We employ four different people,” Podschwit said. “The devastation is real.”

Podschwit and Ross told KIRO 7 News that they believe the officer, who first smelled the smoke and searched for the fire, possibly saved the lives of nearby families and prevented the fire from damaging other businesses.

“I am just thankful it didn’t take out the whole block because the fire was that large that it could have easily taken out all of these businesses,” said Ross.

While the fire damaged most of the backside of the building along Falls Avenue Southeast, Snoqualmie Ice Cream also saw a significant amount of damage on the other side.

“We were both in a state shock. I mean you always hear about things happening like this, but you don’t imagine it’s going to happen to you,” said Julie Chung, a co-owner of Snoqualmie Ice Cream. “It’s hard to think. It’s not just our loss and devastation, but I really do believe the community actually feels it too.”

Heather Dean, a co-owner of the shop, said it will cost them at least $100,000 to replace the store’s equipment, but this does not include the amount of money that 17 workers will lose due to the store’s closure.

“A knot in my stomach. I just want all of us to find ways to quickly solve this as soon as possible,” Dean said. “All of downtown Snoqualmie will be impacted by us being closed. This is a tourist destination.”

While investigators look into the cause of the fire, the small-business owners are asking for the community’s support as they work to rebuild and recover.

“We just need people to keep coming out and just supporting the whole of downtown Snoqualmie while we’re rebuilding,” said Dean.

“We know you can’t be everything to everybody and not all of your needs can be met at our small town shops, but the ones that we can, we would love if you support them,” said Podschwit.

A GoFundMe was created to help the businesses impacted by the large fire. If you’d like to help, please click here.

“Your donation will help these business owners cover immediate needs such as temporary relocation, equipment replacement, inventory restocking, and other essential expenses in the gap of insurance. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference in helping these women get back on their feet.

Let’s show our support for Chickadee Bakeshop, Snoqualmie Ice Cream, Snoqualmie Pie Co., and Littlest Wishes Photography. Together, we can help these businesses rise from the ashes and continue to thrive in our community,” the GoFundMe wrote.

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