Seattle firefighters were able to get a two-alarm fire at a former bakery and now-vacant building in South Seattle under control.
Crews were called Friday afternoon to the 2300 block of Rainier Avenue South and South Walker Street, where they initially launched a defensive attack on the fire due to the flames and smoke. Both directions of Rainier Avenue South were closed due to the fire.
One firefighter suffered minor injuries and was taken to Harborview Medical Center for treatment.
No other injuries were reported.
Firefighters said a wall partially collapsed.
Rainier Ave S and S Walker St: thick smoke continues to billow from the building. If you work or live nearby, please close your windows and doors. pic.twitter.com/FLBAm1Ccfm
— Seattle Fire Dept. (@SeattleFire) May 27, 2022
The building housed the former Remo Borracchini’s Bakery and Mediterranean Market, a family-owned bakery known for its cakes. The bakery closed in 2021.
Much of the bakery’s business came from parties and gatherings, but the pandemic caused things to slow down, devastating the business.
The bakery announced its closing on Facebook, where hundreds of fans shared memories about their weddings, baby showers and birthday cakes from Borracchini’s. Others remembered taking their kids to watch the cakes being decorated, and wrote about the delicious pastries and baked goods they would bring home.
For others, it was a cultural center where one could speak Italian to others while buying products from Italy — olive oil, deli meats, sauces and other staples.
The bakery first started in Mario Borracchini’s basement before moving to the Rainier Avenue South location in 1939, the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods said.
During Friday’s fire, former patron Paul Purcell came by the area to see what was going on and told KIRO 7 that he used to take his family there from time to time to enjoy the great food.
“A favorite to do was to stand over and watch them frost the cakes because that was a specialty and they would use an air guns to paint the tops of the birthday cakes,” Purcell said.
Purcell said it was tough to see the family close the business. He felt the family and the bakery were a true staple for the community. “They were a staple forever.”
As for the building, fire officials have yet to determine how the fire started but are investigating.
Fire officials said crews will remain at the scene overnight to “fully extinguish” the fire.
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