Electrical Fire Leaves Its Charred Mark On The Mark Restaurant

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Usually Burien’s The Mark Restaurant smells like grilled meat, but Wednesday the smell of burnt wiring hung heavy in the air, due to an electrical fire that caused “about $25,000” in damages (including lost revenue while it’s closed) around 10:30am this morning (March 16).

The Mark is located at 918 SW 152nd Street in Olde Burien, and is currently closed while the electrical system is fixed and things are mopped up. The only visible marks we saw while there was to the electrical box, although there was water damage.

“The fire broke out in our main electrical box,” co-owner Debra George told us on the scene as contractors worked all around us. “Four 200-amp services boxes caught on fire. This caused the fire alarm to go off, as well as the sprinklers.”

The sprinklers did their job, extinguishing the fire; but they also left “around two inches” of standing water throughout the entire restaurant, according to George, who added that the Burien/Normandy Park Fire Department did a “great job” cleaning up, using squeegees to push water out the doors.

The actual cause of the fire is still unconfirmed, although just before it started workers were installing a new espresso machine. Apparently the burned-out electrical box harkens back several years to the days when the building housed Jim Moore’s. The Mark took the building over in 2006.

George is hoping to re-open “as soon as possible,” but thinks it may not be until this Friday.

Publisher/Editor Scott Schaefer was on the scene, and took these pics Wednesday afternoon:

Signage on the front door tells the story.

The "old" electrical box, in use since the joint was known as Jim Moore's, is where the fire occurred.

Closeup shows the damaged breakers.

Debra George talks on the phone in the main dining room. Fans that will be used to clear the air are on the floor on the left, and a leftover puddle from the sprinklers is in the foreground.


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17 Responses to “Electrical Fire Leaves Its Charred Mark On The Mark Restaurant”
  1. Eric says:

    What a sad turn of events. Thank goodness no one was injured, but still what a mess. Open soon. Our thoughts are with you.

  2. Nate Dogg says:

    The prices there are enough to kill somebody alone, now fires to worry about too.

    • Steve says:

      You’re right… not everyone is as cheap as McDonalds.

      • Jim says:

        You can get a salad at Happy Hour for as little as $3.50, and the most expensive item is around 25 bucks. Considering the atmosphere, that’s a deal. Maybe you should stick to the dollar menu if you consider that overpriced.

        • mypov says:

          Atmosphere? Really, Jim? Come on…is it the garage-like windows or the ceiling fans? No? It must be the incredible view. A restaurant is only as good as its food and the Mark continually misses, unfortunately. I’m glad nobody got hurt and it certainly sucks for the owners, but to say that $25 (and I do believe the most expensive item is closer to $30, but let’s not nitpick) isn’t bad for a meal because of “the atmosphere” is crazy talk.

          • Ian Gunsul says:

            obviously you’ve never sat anywhere but the bar.
            there’s a very nice dining area which you might have been too polluted to notice on your way to the restroom, and also a nice seating area outside when the weather permits.
            and the prices are comparable to any other place in the area that doesn’t have a drive-through.

  3. Len Boscarine says:

    Sorry to hear that you will have to miss out on the income from St Patrick’s Day. Perhaps your loyal patrons will come out in force next week to help you make up for it.

  4. Debra says:

    We are very fortunate that no one was hurt, and that we have so many friends, and contractors willings to pitch in. We had our electrical main catch on fire, taking out 4-200amp mains. We are hoping to open on Friday and ask that our loyal custumers and friends come out and suppert our staff and our restaurant. We thank you for all you kind thoughts and look forward to a great St. Paties Day weekend.
    Debra George & Chris Mark

  5. Ray says:

    I hate the thought that the MARK is out of commission for even one night. It doesn’t seem right for a restaurant that gives so much to our little town to have such a tragic event happen not only during this time of year, but in this economy. I sincerely hope that you bounce back not only for our community sake, but for yours as well.

    • jeanette says:

      Very well said Ray I hope everyone can come and suport them when they open Debra and Chris do so much for the Burien community.

  6. Bear says:

    I hope they get back on their feet soon, I was missing my favorite joint when i found out it was closed. Great service and good times there.

  7. Anonymous says:

    As a past employee of the Mark I’m am sorry to hear this. At the same time this is a problem that they knew about. There is a leak in the roof located right above that electrical box. Every time time that it would rain it would leak right onto that box. As an employee we where always worried about being electrocuted by it. The water would leak from the ceiling down the box a pool on the floor right by the employee lockers. Sadly this is something they could an should have fixed many years ago. They are lucky that no one was hurt.

    • Debra says:

      Several years ago yes we did have a leak and many roofers looked at the issue. We made repairs multiple times but the leak persisted. Eventually it was traced to the sprinkler system which was fixed immediately.

  8. Steven says:

    The electrical service appears to be a 3 phase Zinsco panel.
    Zinsco lost their UL listing many years ago due to the hazard of fires just like this one!
    Zinsco equipment is know though out the electrical industry for its high failure rate and fire hazard potential and is no longer manufactured.

    All involved are very lucky that the building was not a complete loss and that there was no injuries or death.

    A note of warning to anyone who has an FPE (Federal Pacific) or Zinsco panels in their homes or business PLEASE get them replaced by a licensed electrical contractor as soon as possible or at a minimum get an infrared scan done to see if any thing is burning up.

    We like the Mark and have enjoyed dining there.

    Steven, Burien Resident and Electrical Foreman.

  9. flyinhigh says:

    Is this the place I read a while back as being the place where Buriens gay community hangs out?

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