Crime

Fire damages Tacoma costume shop. “There were a lot of treasures in there.”

Fire damages Tacoma costume shop

The cause of the fire is not yet known, Mary Johnson said Sunday morning moments before meeting a fire inspector to tour the damage.
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The cause of the fire is not yet known, Mary Johnson said Sunday morning moments before meeting a fire inspector to tour the damage.

After dinner Saturday night, Mary Johnson stopped by her costume shop on Tacoma’s Sixth Avenue to pick up a few projects to work on at home.

Before 8 p.m. she received a call with stunning news. Northwest Costume, the business she owns with her husband, was on fire.

Tom and Mary Johnson rushed to the building at 2315 Sixth Ave. and watched firefighters work until after 4 a.m. Sunday.

Cause of the fire had not yet been determined, Mary Johnson said Sunday morning before meeting a fire inspector to tour the damage.

nwcostume
In 2009, C.J. Jensen of Puyallup tried on a feather scarf borrowed from Elwood Blues to compliment her "Queen of Hearts," costume she picked out at Northwest Costume on 6th Ave. Jensen was looking for a costume for a Halloween office party. Dean J. Koepfler Staff file, 2009

“It’s just shocking,” she said. “There were a lot of treasures in there.”

Battalion Chief Lincoln Correa said the building sustained “a lot of smoke and heat damage,” with most of the damage in the center of the building.

The fire was in a room filled with costumes and appears to have extended to an upstairs kitchen.

A firefighter suffered a minor injury, Correa said,

“He was released and is OK,” he said.

Mary Johnson started the business in her home 36 years ago and bought the current location in 1998. The structure was built in 1928 and needed repairs.

She remodeled it so the entry way resembled the lobby of a theater. There’s a ballroom upstairs.

The company has produced hundreds of plays, musicals, fund raisers and weddings, according to the shop’s website.

“We’ve had so many great customers over the years and many of them really have become friends,” Mary Johnson said.

She posted instructions on the Northwest Costume Facebook page for people with pending costume rentals.

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