Kirkland Fire Department crews had to break through the gloss front door of the Brown Bag Cafe during a call Saturday night. Contributed photo/City of Kirkland

Two-alarm fire at Brown Bag Cafe in Kirkland believed to be an accident, investigation continues

The Kirkland Fire Department was called to the Brown Bag Cafe in the Totem Lake neighborhood of Kirkland on Saturday evening for a structure fire that took place while the business was not open.

The two-alarm fire damaged the kitchen and attic space of the restaurant but there were no reports of injuries to emergency personnel or bystanders. The investigation into the cause it ongoing but is being treated as an accident.

“The kitchen sustained extensive damage, but because doors were closed and the drywall was intact, the fire stayed in the kitchen and didn’t spread,” City of Kirkland spokesperson Kathy Cummings said. “There is smoke damage to the rest of the interior of the building.”

The initial call was received by the Kirkland Fire Department at 10:05 p.m. and reports are that no one was in the restaurant at the time.

“The cause of the fire is still being investigated,” posted Kirkland City Councilman Toby Nixon on Facebook. “We’re grateful to our firefighters for keeping the fire contained as much as possible, and also hope the folks at Brown Bag Cafe can recover and reopen soon.”

The first crews on the scene saw a dark smoke-column rising from the roof of the restaurant, yellowed windows with smoke visible, and smoke escaping from vents, said Acting Kirkland Fire Battalion Chief Capt. Ivan Huld. Firefighters attacked the blaze from the ground, breaking through the glass front door and from ladders to get to the roof.

In all, 23 emergency units were called to the scene at 12217 NE 116 St., including from Kirkland, Bothell, Redmond, Woodinville and Bellevue.

Fire crews were left at the scene throughout the night on Saturday and into Sunday morning to monitor for flareups within the building.


A fire at the Brown Bag Cafe in Kirkland was contained to the kitchen and attic of the restaurant. Contributed photo/City of Kirkland