Local lumber company moving after devastating Queen Anne fire
Gascoigne Lumber Yard in North Queen Anne on the Ship Canal has been in the Gascoigne family since 1959.
So when Dave Gascoigne, son of owner Rob, was told this past Saturday that the lumber yard was on fire, he had to hear it “about five times.”
“I couldn’t process the information when I first heard … and I had to see a picture, because, you know, how does that compute? It doesn’t,” he said.
It was less of a surprise for Gascoigne, however, to hear from the Seattle Fire Department three days later that the fire — the biggest that Seattle has seen in over eight years — was ruled arson.
“It didn’t cross my mind that it would be anything else,” Gascoigne said.
After finding out that an arsonist also set fire last week to Elks Lodge #92 just down the road from Gascoigne Lumber, he realized that there may be a link.
“How can you say that’s unconnected?” Gascoigne said. “I’m not the forensic [specialist], but that sure looks connected to me.”
He is focused on moving forward rather than speculating on the arsonist’s identity, but guesses that the culprit is a “mentally deranged person of some sort that gets pleasure from watching [a] hardworking man’s heritage burn down in front of him.”
Due to limitations by city ordinances, Gascoigne Lumber does not intend to rebuild after the estimated $4.3 million fire, but will instead move to a new location in Seattle that will be convenient for serving all of its current customers.
Gascoigne admitted that he feels some apprehension about continuing to do business in the city that Seattle has become.
“I would hate to speak badly of the city that I was raised in,” he said, but he fears that Seattle “is up in flames itself.”
However, he remains optimistic for the future and feels grateful for the many supporters that the lumber company has.
“It seems to be a continual theme here throughout the ages — it’s a God thing, because we just continue to be blessed here,” Gascoigne said. “It’s great to be a part of that.”
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