Owner plans to have Sacajawea apartments repaired

By Geoff Folsom, Tri-City HeraldJanuary 20, 2014 

The Sacajawea apartment building in Pasco, damaged by fire last summer, still sits vacant while its owner seeks money for repairs.

Linda Guo is waiting for her insurance company to issue a report with the estimated damages to the six-story building at 507 N. Fourth Ave, she said.

Until then, she can't begin work.

"Right now I need money to repair it," she said.

Guo plans to return the building, located between Lourdes Medical Center and city hall, to its previous use for rental apartments, she said.

Rick White, Pasco's community and economic development director, said work on the building has been delayed because Guo has had disagreements with her insurance company.

"They don't want to pay as much as the owner thinks they are entitled to," White said.

The building does not pose a danger to the public while it is vacant, White said.

"We don't have a deadline for them to do something," he said.

Condemning the building is not an option for the city, White said.

"It doesn't have anywhere near enough damage to be condemned," he said.

The residents of the building's 60 units had their leases terminated after the July 20 fire burned several apartments and left smoke damage in much of the 63-year-old building.

About 150 people were displaced by the fire, and no one was injured. A Red Cross shelter at Pasco High School housed residents, many of them low income or disabled, for three weeks until they could find other housing.

A woman burning a candle in her apartment was determined to be the cause of the fire, Pasco Fire Chief Bob Gear said.

Pasco City Councilman Bob Hoffmann, who has been asking questions of city staff about the fire during council meetings, said Wednesday that he hasn't been updated recently.

"I assume it is going to get fixed and get up and running again," he told the Herald. "And I assume they will be starting repairs soon."

-- Geoff Folsom: 509-582-1543; gfolsom@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @GeoffFolsom

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