Investigators release results of Molalla fire
Investigators determined the downtown Molalla fire that killed one started in the boutique building and was electrical in nature.
The Feb. 6 fire destroyed the boutique as well as the entire building next door that housed Bentley Feed and closed the Thai restaurant. According to Todd Gary, spokesman for Molalla Fire, the apparent electrical fire sparked on the lower level of the building.
Typically, a fire of this magnitude potentially leaves a number of legal repercussions, according to Gary.
Meanwhile there are human repercussions. Tommi Tolstead, who lost her son Guy in the fire has had "a dreadful loss, everything else is secondary," she told the Pioneer. But she said she was "glad the investigation was done and that no one had ever lived upstairs, it was a storage area."
She also praised her insurance company, saying that "State Farm has been amazing."
She is not planning to rebuild. Instead she plans to make the area into "Guy's Space," to commemorate her son. "It was a tremendous loss, he spent all his years helping me," she said, especially while she was fighting cancer.
He was working on the garden area before he died and one section of this space will have a garden theme. "He loved the garden and the birds and the stray black cat that followed him around. He'd fill the three bird baths and then tell them to come and they did," she said.
She's planning to add a statue of the stray black cat and that section will be fenced.