A fire early Sunday in Federal Way destroyed a building housing a Subway and other businesses.
The blaze gutted the building at 2020 S. 320th St., though South King Fire & Rescue crews were working at the scene for at least four hours. An adjacent building suffered fire exposure damage, and one firefighter suffered a minor injury.
The building is across the street from the Commons at Federal Way shopping center.
South King firefighters were dispatched to the fire about 4:20 a.m. Sunday when employees opening a nearby coffee shop smelled smoke and called 911, Fire Marshal Gordon Goodsell said.
“When we arrived, we had a fire that was showing through the roof with a lot of black smoke,” Goodsell said. “It was clearly a defensive fire, and we’ve been fighting it that way from the very beginning.”
Goodsell does not know yet in which business the fire started or what the cause was.
He said there was a pho restaurant, a Mexican grocery store and a vaping shop in the 1970s-era building, as well as the Subway. The building did not have sprinklers or fire alarms.
“The challenge here is that we have to fight the fire from the outside,” Goodsell said about 8 a.m. “It’s difficult to get to the seat of the fire and get water right on the fire, and that’s why it’s taking so long.”
The two-alarm fire drew firefighters from Burien and Tacoma fire departments, as well as Valley Regional Fire Authority and Puget Sound Fire.
Staff photographer Joshua Bessex contributed to this report.