A worker’s cutting torch accidentally started a fire Tuesday that caused the temporary closure of the Yakima County Courthouse.
While the fire caused only $10,000 damage to the exterior of the courthouse, it prompted the closing of some county offices, a paring back of the court calendar and delays in recording some real estate transactions.
“It could have been much worse if it had not been well attended,” said Mike Leita, Yakima County Commission vice chairman. “Work will resume as normal (Wednesday).” Thirty-five firefighters were involved in putting out the fire and mopping up hot spots in a narrow space between the courthouse’s two wings for nearly four hours.
Workers have been demolishing the old county jail, built in the 1940s, to make way for an expanded parking lot until a new law and justice center is built.