Prosser theatre recalls close call with weekend fire

PROSSER, Wash. – Tape still blocks off buildings that were severely damaged by a fire on Saturday in Prosser.

Kimberly Starr with the Princess Theatre said it was a close call for their facility.

“One of the members of the theatre texted him and said, ‘is the theatre okay?’ and we were like, ‘why wouldn’t the theatre be okay?'” Starr, the Artistic Director said.

Starr and her husband got in their car and headed to downtown Prosser.

That’s when they discovered blocked off streets, dozens of first responders and a fire burning dangerously close to their building.

“We saw smoke and it totally looked like the theatre was on fire,” Starr said.

Thankfully, the Princess Theatre was spared, as they’re just days away from their first, post-pandemic performance. This coming Friday, only five actors and actresses will perform Around the World in 80 Days. Starr said they’ve adapted the show to meet COVID-19 guidelines.

“So there was this moment of relief and then there was this moment of ‘well that means something else is on fire,'” Starr said.

Prosser Lockers, a meat processor, was declared a total loss by officials, while the Prosser Police Department received extensive damage.

SLIDESHOW: Fire destroys meat locker, damage to police department is extensive

Prosser City Hall, the Masonic Temple and Cooks Ace Hardware also have smoke and water damage.

“Immediately, there was just this kind of heartbreak, that any building, any community member, any family would end up going through some kind of loss related to fire,” Starr added.

Kimberly said she’s already seen small, Prosser businesses stepping up to help those affected.

“The thing about Prosser is, we all love each other and we all support each other, that’s the beauty of a small town,” she said.

Luckily, no one was injured among the many workers and 55 firefighters who responded.

Electrical services were turned off while they battled the blaze for about 10 hours, and police blocked off parts of the downtown Prosser area.

Kimberly said they’re grateful their building, besides the smell of smoke, was spared.

“My heart just hurts for them. What happened is still a tremendous loss for our community and we really feel that loss personally,” she said.

Around the World in 80 Days opens on Friday evening; the theatre will also be having free performances in City Park, but you must RSVP and abide by COVID-19 guidelines. You can buy tickets for the in-house shows here.

PHOTO GALLERY: Fire damages downtown Prosser businesses and police department