OLYMPIA - The owner of a long-standing restaurant in Olympia vows to rebuild after fire destroyed the business Friday morning.
The Oyster House restaurant, which bills itself as the oldest seafood restaurant in Washington state, appeared to be a total loss following the two-alarm fire. When Olympia firefighters arrived at 12:15 a.m., they found heavy smoke and flames coming from the restaurant.
Owner Tom Barrett said he heard about the fire around 1 a.m.
"My son, who's the general manager, worked last night. He was the last one out around 10:30 p.m.," said Barrett. "It's devastating."
Firefighters had the fire under control by 3 a.m. Olympia Fire Chief Greg Wright says one firefighter was treated on scene for minor burns to his hand.
Barrett bought the restaurant in 1995 after it had been shut down for a couple years. The building was originally an oyster shucking plant in the 1920s. It was converted to a restaurant in the 1940s and has been a community staple ever since.
"We have insurance, so we'll put it back together as fast as we can and try to make it look as it did before," said Barrett.
The cause of the fire was not immediately determined.