A little more than six months after a fire decimated structures at 153 W. Spruce St., a crew last week started cleaning up the property linked to code complaints and various criminal activities.
Property owner Ron Fairclough said demolition removes his former home, dental lab and garage behind the Sequim Civic Center, and he’s unsure if clean up will continue at his neighboring properties 161 and 169 W. Spruce St.
“It’s sad,” he said. “I lost all my memories.”
Fire officials with Clallam County Fire District 3 reported Fairclough’s property was insured and he lost an estimated $300,000 in property in the June 6 fire.
Neighbors said firefighters prevented the fire from spreading to neighboring apartments. The fire’s cause was found “undetermined,” Sequim Police officials report, and no criminal charges were brought forward.
Fairclough, 83, and four other people were evacuated early that morning when a neighbor spotted the fire.
Two people continue to live in a tent shelter on the property, while his former renter has a temporary living situation in the area, Fairclough said.
Fairclough said he remains in a local hotel until he can be accepted into senior assisted living housing.
He worked for local dentists for many years, and envisioned opening a Sequim Laboratory of Dental Arts. However, Fairclough said, theft and renters not paying him tens-of-thousands of dollars prevented him from moving forward.
Banners remain up on fencing stating the property is for sale, but Fairclough said he’s unsure if the next steps will be to try and sell to the City of Sequim again or a public buyer as his brother-in-law oversees the property; the brother-in-law could not be reached by press time.
Fairclough, a regular public commenter at city council meetings prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, tried several times to rent and/or sell his properties to the City of Sequim but he and former city officials said their asking prices were too far apart.
Sequim Police investigated and/or charged multiple residents on Fairclough’s properties, excluding him, with multiple crimes and responded to the properties 144 times from Jan. 1, 2010-Dec. 16, 2014, with some of the issues including assault, domestic violence, and drug violations.
Fairclough partnered with Habitat for Humanity and the city in 2018 for their Service Fest to tear down a house on 169 W. Spruce St., and remove 12 truckloads of garbage from the properties.