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Investigation into cause of Federal Way Subway fire complete

South King Fire & Rescue investigators were unable to determine the cause of a fire that burned out several Federal Way businesses last month.

The monthlong investigation determined that the May 21 fire at 2020 S. 320th St. started in the 2NE Pho restaurant, either in the kitchen or the attic above it, Fire Marshal Gordon Goodsell wrote in a news release Wednesday afternoon.

“The investigators found no indication this fire was the result of a crime, and found no indication of careless behavior on the part of the business owners or employees,” Goodsell wrote.

The roof above the kitchen was completely burned out, which left scant evidence for investigators to use. However, investigators were able to determine that the kitchen’s appliances did not start the fire.

Apart from the pho restaurant, the 1970s-era building also housed a Subway restaurant and a vaping shop.

The owners of the businesses and building are planning to demolish what remains of the structure soon.

South King Fire received assistance in the investigation from Federal Way police; the Seattle office of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and insurance investigators.

Crews fought the two-alarm blaze for more than four hours, and one firefighter suffered a minor injury in the process.

The building did not have sprinklers or fire alarms.

Kenny Ocker: 253-597-8627, @KennyOcker

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