A fire ranged through Washington State Fair Event Center’s Evergreen Hall just before midnight on Sunday, April 13, 2004, killing one piglet and injuring another. 49 animals trapped in their cages inside were rescued by firemen and fair personnel. No people were injured.
The two-alarm fire was called in at 11:55 p.m. just hours after the Washington State Spring Fair ended. Central Pierce Fire responded with four engines and two ladders.
The south end of Evergreen Hall housed the petting farm during Spring Fair. Firemen kept it hosed down throughout the blaze and together with fair personal carried the large heavy cages containing animals out. “All of us were moving as fast as we could.” says fair spokesperson, Karen LaFlamme. “Its a life that you just don’t want to let go.”
Among those rescued were birds, llamas, sheep and goats, ducks, chickens, a turkey, two mother rabbits and their nine babies, a miniature donkey and miniature hereford (cattle).
A vet arrived on the scene within an hour of the animals rescue to check on their health, some suffering from stress and respiratory issues.
Sales Lunch, a food concessionaire was housed in the northwest corner of Evergreen Hall, and was destroyed.
Evergreen Hall was one of the oldest buildings on the fairgrounds, and was remodeled in 2013 in time to house the agriculture and floral departments at last year’s Washington State Fair.
Ongoing investigation continues on the cause of the fire.