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Electrical Short Starts Fire That Destroys Restaurant

Wed., Jan. 8, 1997

An electrical short-circuit apparently started the fire that gutted the acclaimed gourmet restaurant at The Herbfarm, fire officials said Tuesday.

The short was discovered in a waiters’ service area of the 32-seat restaurant, said Chris Conner, spokesman for King County Fire District 10. Conner estimated damage from the Monday night fire at $250,000.

No injuries were caused by the blaze at the restaurant about 20 miles east of Seattle.

No one was in the restaurant at the time of the fire, owner Ron Zimmerman said. The Herbfarm is open only on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays during the winter.

Flames were shooting through the roof when firefighters arrived shortly after 8:30 p.m., said Steve Sidell, a dispatcher for the fire district.

Carrie Van Dyck, Zimmerman’s wife, said nearly all the restaurant’s furnishings and equipment were destroyed.

Van Dyck said the restaurant was insured, but it might not be possible to reopen at its location because the business was operating in an area zoned for residential properties. The Herbfarm had been grandfathered-in because it had been there so long, she said.

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