Shop owner loses nearly everything in Salmon Creek industrial fire, months after losing daughter

Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 10:12 PM PDT
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SALMON CREEK Wash. (KPTV) - People are trying to plan for what comes next after a fire destroyed an industrial building in Salmon Creek. Officials said at least seven businesses were impacted by the fire.

“Seeing everything you work for, you’re just in shock,” Buddy Palmer, who lost his shop in the fire, said.

Palmer has run his shop for over 25 years and has been in his current spot in Salmon Creek for about eight years. He describes the devastating moment he watched his workplace start to fill up with smoke just after 10 p.m. Tuesday. He said he recovered what he could in the moment.

“All of us just scramble. Ron went up front, he started taking stuff out of his shop. I got the forklift, pulled a customer’s car out. Pulled another car away from the shop,” Palmer said.

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Clark County Fire District 6 said a two-alarm fire ripped through an industrial building on Northeast 13th Court near 146th Street on Tuesday night. When fire crews arrived, they quickly made the call to go into a defensive mode, meaning they determined the building was a lost cause.

“The whole back of the building was fully engulfed within minutes,” Palmer said.

This devastation comes as Palmer and his family are still in the process of grieving the unimaginable loss of his daughter.

“About nine months ago, my daughter Victoria Palmer was hit by an Uber on 205,” Palmer said.

Those who know Palmer told FOX 12 he’s selfless. And in true Palmer fashion, his concern is for his customers.

“To have to call them and tell them their car, you know, something that your dad gave you or something you spent so much time and money on,” Palmer said.

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In spite of the multiple tragedies his family has had this past year, Palmer said he’s found strength to remain grateful.

“I’ve been blessed with an amazing wife. I’ve been blessed with great kids. I’ve been blessed with good friends. I’ve had eight years of good business here, and I’m just going to keep going,” Palmer said.

The Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause.

If you’d like to help Palmer get back on his feet or help in any way, please visit this GoFundMe.