Fire at Arnold's Home Furnishings destroys building

Firefighters from across the region battled an intense fire at Arnold's Home Furnishings on Kitsap Way in Bremerton Monday.

Police closed Kitsap Way from 11th Street to National Avenue North, but one lane in each direction of Kitsap Way opened around 2 p.m..

South Kitsap Fire & Rescue Deputy Chief Steve Wright said the fire broke out at the furniture store, located at 3506 Kitsap Way, shortly after 2 a.m. Monday. The blaze started in the southeast portion of the store and quickly spread throughout the large building.

Hundreds of firefighters from local agencies and as far away as Tacoma, Gig Harbor and Key Peninsula responded to the blaze.

The fire destroyed most of the store and no one was inside the structure when the blaze ignited.

Bremerton Fire Chief Al Duke said the Broyhill Gallery on the west side of the building was saved thanks to a sprinkler system.

Wright said the building was crumbling, so firefighters battled the blaze from outside the structure and atop a ladder truck.

Duke said fire crews will remain on-scene overnight to extinguish any hot spots.

Arnold's Home Furnishings was founded in 1951 by Wendell and Betty Arnold, according to the company's Web site. Over the years, the store has grown to more than 66,000 square feet and is the largest home furnishing center on the Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas.

Duke said an investigation into the cause of the blaze will begin Tuesday morning.

— Staff writer Steven DeDual contributed to this report.

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