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Fire at White Center businesses investigated as arson

July 10, 2021 GMT

WHITE CENTER, Wash. (AP) —

A fire that extensively damaged businesses just south of Seattle in White Center early Monday is now under investigation as arson by the King County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident was reclassified due to new evidence, according to Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Tim Meyer, The Seattle Times reported.

He declined to share details Friday, citing an active investigation. Authorities say the fire appeared to have started at the neighborhood’s first LGBTQ+ bar, The Lumber Yard, before spreading to other businesses.

A tattoo parlor was damaged, along with a salon, a boxing gym, another bar and a Mexican grocery store. No injuries were reported.

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On Instagram Friday, The Lumber Yard said the incident is being investigated as a hate crime. “The Lumberyard is a all inclusive space for our community and it saddens us that it would be targeted for such an act,” the business wrote on Instagram.

Meyer said the investigation will include attempting to identify a suspect and motive.