Fire destroys Wine Country Concert Series storage unit in Walla Walla

Overnight in Walla Walla, a fire burned down storage units containing everything the Veterans Memorial Golf Course uses for their concert series. The owner says this will not affect their upcoming concert.

WALLA WALLA, Wash. — A fire near the green overnight at the Veterans Memorial Golf Course caused over $100,000 in damage. Despite the losses, owners say it’s business as usual.

Firefighters rushed to the scene of the golf course. They said a person from across the freeway called in flames reaching high above the structure. Crews arrived just before 2 a.m., and they said it was put out swiftly.

Despite the quick action, one 100-by-30 storage unit was burned, with everything inside.

Deputy Chief of Operations for the Walla Walla Fire Department, John Knowles, said, “Unfortunately, they were storing a lot of things that they’ve been using for the summer concert series. So, they lost a bit of that stuff they use for the concerts, but nothing that can’t be replaced.” He said nobody, including the crew, was hurt.

The Wine Country Amphitheater at the golf course hosts summer concerts at the golf course. Artists from all over the nation visit Walla Walla to perform.

Scott Daggatt, the owner of the golf course and president of W3 Entertainment, said everything was put in a storage unit to have easy access to the amphitheater.

Daggatt said, “It’s just a whole list of things that we have ready to roll, and now we have none of it.”

He said the groundskeeper called him early in the morning after the unit was destroyed. He said, “I’ve never gotten a call from him at 5:30 in the morning, so I knew something was up. So he says, ‘well, the concert shed burnt down.’”

Walla Walla Fire estimates $110,000 in damage.

Chief Knowles said it was around $100,000 for the structure, and around $10,000 for the contents inside.

Daggatt said, “That was a nice guesstimate of theirs, and I’m not sure if you can build a shed like this for $100,000 anymore, either, quite frankly.” He estimates the loss is at least twice that.

And though the fire department hasn’t determined a cause for the fire, Daggatt isn’t surprised about what happened. “We’ve had people, vandals, just break in, take golf carts, drive them around and dump them off there in the you know, the wheat fields and stuff like that.”

Despite the damage and loss of everything in the storage units, Daggatt said the concerts are going to run as usual. He also said they’ve started making orders to replace the items lost in the fire.

Daggatt said, “We really take this area and convert it into quite the amphitheater. Big stage, tents with, you know, food trucks. We have beer, wine, spirits.”

Bringing national caliber concerts is one of the reasons Daggatt came to Walla Walla. “The city is really encouraged and wanted to get concerts in Walla Walla, just to kind of up the cultural environment and activity in the city.”

The upcoming performances are Bonnie Raitt on August 17 at the Wine Country Amphitheater. Maren Morris performs on August 23, and Jackson Browne on September 20.

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