Winds blew through Lake Stevens last Monday night knocking out power in several neighborhoods throughout the city, including the Frontier Heights neighborhood just west of Highway 9 and north of State Route 204.
As power surges hit the neighborhood flames broke out at Lake Stevens Daycare and Preschool Center at 8730 11th Street NE. Firefighters were called around 3:27 a.m. Tuesday.
“They think it was a power surge—going on and off which made the wall heater catch fire,” Lake Stevens Daycare and Preschool Center owner Roxanne Davis said.
The fire has been deemed accidental by Fire Marshal Mike Fitzgerald of Monroe Fire District 3. He was filling in for Lake Stevens Fire Marshal Robert Marshall at the time.
“The wall heater was operating normally and it appeared to ignite some nearby combustibles. We can say definitively that the heater was involved in the ignition of the fire but we can’t say conclusively all of the events that led up to the incident,” Fitzgerald said. “It is an accidental fire but the cause will go as undetermined on the report.”
“The exact sequence of events that led to the ignition—that’s what we can’t determine,” Fitzgerald said.
The fire destroyed the contents of the building but left the structure standing. The intense heat from the fire caused much of the contents, including toys and computers to melt.
“The outside looks good. A lot of it is smoke damage and heat damage,” Davis said.
The fire caused around $35,000 worth of damage and took firefighters from Lake Stevens, Marysville and Getchell Fire Districts approximately 20 minutes to extinguish.
“The damage was $35,000 total because there was very little structural damage,” Fitzgerald explained. “There was $10,000 structural damage and $25,000 loss of contents.”
Davis’ insurance will cover at least $20,000 in damages.
“Hopefully that will be enough to keep us going.” Davis said.
Lake Stevens Daycare has used that facility for the past 30 years. Davis bought the center 23 years ago and has a great relationship with her staff, parents and other local daycare centers.
“I don’t feel that our daycares are in competition, we are doing the thing we love – nurturing and taking care of children. We just love what we do,” Davis explained.
There were currently 34 children enrolled in Davis’ center and many have been relocated to other centers in Lake Stevens on a temporary basis. Others are being watched by family and friends until Davis can open her doors again.
“Hopefully it will only take a couple of months to get the daycare reopened,” Davis said.
She is grateful for her loyal staff and parents and for other daycare centers jumping in to take care of her kids until she can reopen her doors.
“I want to thank other daycare centers who have opened their hearts and doors to us. Everyone is coming up and telling me they will do anything to help us,” Davis said. “It’s wonderful to have a supportive community backing you up.”