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McCrossen building close to demolition
EVERETT - The owner of the burned down McCrossen building will soon have permission from the city to demolish the downtown building and clean up the site.
The city approved a plan late last week allowing building owner Pete Sikov to demolish the 1894 building at Hewitt and Oakes avenues, which was gutted in a Nov. 8 fire. Sikov still has to obtain a demolition permit and either build a new building on the site within six months or put in landscaping within three months to make the site look nice.
The next building will have to complement the other historic buildings downtown, according to a city workplan.
Sikov missed a city hearing examiner’s deadline to demolish the building by March 15. Sikov told the media that insurance issues had held up the demolition process.
The Nov. 8 fire gutted the two-story building across from Comcast Arena. One man died and 40 others were displaced by the fire. Three businesses on the first floor were destroyed.
Investigators couldn’t pinpoint the exact cause of the fire, but they ruled out arson. Investigators believe the fire began in the apartment unit of Michael Beard, 61, who died in the fire from smoke inhalation.
The fire closed down three businesses: The Spare Room Vintage Flea Market antiques shop, Hat Trick Pizzeria and Grill and an insurance company.
The building’s demolition is complex. The 1894 McCrossen shares a wall with the building next door at 1812 Hewitt Ave. This building method is no longer used.
Demolishing the McCrossen building could affect the structural integrity of the other building, which has smoke damage.
The two building owners are working to ensure the other building remains structurally sound during the demolition process.
Demolishing the building could take months, Sikov said.
Once the building is gone, Sikov can rebuild. One thing that can’t go there is a parking lot, planning director Allan Giffen said previously. 
Police also are investigating allegations that a firefighter tried to sell antiques stolen from The Spare Room. Antique pottery was recently put up for sale on the Internet and Spare Room owner Sue Ludwig identified that the items came from a vendor in her store.
The firefighter was put on paid administrative leave, a standard protocol for allegations of misconduct, the Herald reported.


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