ELLENSBURG — Two days after a three-alarm arson-related blaze at Anderson Hay and Grain, crews are still working to clean up the mess and assess the damage.
“It’s pretty close to being wrapped up,” Anderson Hay and Grain CEO Mark Anderson said Thursday. “The fire department left yesterday around noon, and we’ve been monitoring it ourselves. We will continue to monitor it. We moved a lot of product around to minimize additional risk.”
Anderson said the total damage is estimated at approximately $750,000. He estimated the total hay loss to be approximately 1,000 tons, mainly in one of the two barns that were set on fire by the arsonist. Despite being a large number on paper, he said the loss wasn’t extreme when put into perspective.
“That hay was less than a half of a percent of what we do in a year,” he said. “There’s no impact to customers, growers and production.”
Anderson said one of the two barns affected by the fire was a complete loss, with potential damage to the second.
“We’re still working through that detail,” he said.
Anderson said this is the first arson-related fire at any of the Anderson facilities that he is aware of, and that the suspect has no connection to the company.
Kittitas County Sheriff's deputies arrested a 24-year-old suspect from Ellensburg who faces first-degree arson and first-degree criminal trespass charges in relation to the fire.