Flames swallow downtown Everett building

Flames swallow downtown Everett building »Play Video
EVERETT, Wash. -- A fire in a downtown Everett building housing the Stewart Title Co. sent flames and smoke high into the air.

The three-alarm fire was reported just before 9 p.m. Wednesday at the building near Everett Avenue and Wetmore Avenue. Firefighters from Everett and several other departments arrived to find smoke and flames shooting high up in the air.

Firefighters went into the building and climbed on the roof, planning to cut through the roof to provide ventilation. However, their efforts were hindered by strong winds that quickly made conditions dangerous and forced firefighters to battle the blaze defensively.

The building is said to be a total loss. Fire officials do not know whether it was equipped with a sprinkler system.

Officials believe the building was empty when the fire started. Firefighters plan to search inside the building once they put out all the hot spots.

The cause of the fire is not known.