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Posted on Jul 23, 2015

No cause determined yet in Captain Ron’s fire

The cause of a fire that destroyed a Sunland Estates business last week remains under investigation, the Grant County Fire Marshal’s Office reported this week.
While officials determined the fire started in a second-story apartment that was occupied, what caused the Captain Ron’s market to burn down has not yet been identified, said Bruce Gribble, chief deputy fire marshal.
“I don’t suspect any foul play,” Gribble said.
The fire broke out shortly after 4 a.m. on July 8 at Captain Ron’s. The fire destroyed the market as well as an adjacent garage also owned by the business owner, Ron Kreger. A boat in the garage, valued at about $80,000, also was destroyed, Kreger said.
While people were sleeping in two apartments above the market, they were able to get out unharmed, Kreger said. Fire alarms alerted them to the fire, he said.
When firefighters arrived on scene the building was engulfed, said Lt. Dale Hille of Grant County Fire District No. 3. About 25 firefighters, including two volunteers who live in Sunland Estates, responded to the early morning fire in the shoreline community.
Firefighters were able to keep the fire from destroying a travel trailer and home that were adjacent to the property, Hille said.
Kreger, the store’s owners since 1998, said he did not know how much of his losses insurance would cover or if he would rebuild the market.
Last week, Sunland Estates homeowners were surveying the sad scene. Next door, Mike Allen said a neighbor called him on the morning of the blaze to tell him the market was on fire. So Allen traveled from his home in Lake Taps to make sure his Sunland home was still standing.
Allen built his home nine years ago next to Captain Ron’s. Heat from the fire blew out a window on a garage and living area that Allen owns next to his house. It also ruined some of the siding on that building, which is next to the market.
Residents relied on the market not only for fuel but also groceries, Allen said. It was a community gathering place for Sunland Estates property owners, he said.
“It’s a big community loss,” Allen said. “The community relies on (Captain Ron’s) as being its go-to for the things that you don’t have.”
An account titled Captain Ron’s Store Fire Fund has been established at Washington Federal Bank in Quincy. Contributions can be made at any Washington Federal branch in the state.
Or, people can donate by sending or dropping off a check to the shoreline community’s office at 830 River Drive S.W., Quincy, WA, 98848. The check should be made out to Captain Ron’s Store Fire Fund.


— By Jill FitzSimmons,