KC's Caboose Cafe in Sumner, Washington, was destroyed by fire Tuesday. Twenty-two employees are out of work. The Heritage Quest Research Library located next door also suffered a lot of smoke and water damage, including damage to many genealogy books. The library will be closed for a while until repairs can be made. Sumner police investigators and agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives have determined that the fire was set.
"I don't know who could do this to so many families," said Lynda DellaSantina, who has operated the restaurant for the past three years with her husband, David. The cafe on Main Street in Sumner was an institution for the past 70 years and was renowned for its train theme and antique décor. Now, the only reminder of that history is a shiny, silver model train that survived the fire and remained atop the fragments of the cafe's roof. Damage was estimated at $500,000.
It took nearly 100 firefighters from 12 local departments more than four hours to control the fire when it broke out about 4 a.m. Tuesday.
In a statement yesterday, Sumner police Chief Colleen Wilson asked for the public's help. "The chances of solving this type of crime increase significantly when the community gets involved," she said. Officials have asked anyone with information that could aid the investigation to call 1-888-ATF-FIRE.