Puyallup community offers help for dentist office while it goes up in flames

PUYALLUP, Wash. — A fire on Sunday night that destroyed a South Sound dentist office has turned into a story of what makes our community so great.  As the flames were still burning the owners of Orthodontic Excellence were getting calls from other local dentists on setting up a temporary location.

Central Pierce firefighters responded just before 9 p.m. Sunday night to the building at 94th Avenue East and 112th Street East in Puyallup.  Debra White lives about 100 yards from the building and watched the flames raging.

“We were like oh, man,” White said.  “Move the car because we were afraid it was going to explode.”

The fire destroyed the Orthodontic Excellence Building.  Firefighters got out safely before the roof and second floor collapsed.

“It was up in flames so high,” White said.  “You could just see big chunks of it falling to the ground. Of course, everybody jumped back when that was happening.”

Employees like marketing manager Stephanie Peterson arrived to see the building destroyed.

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“Once we arrived on scene the impact really hit,” she said.

Orthodontic Excellence is owned by husband and wife doctors and has been in Puyallup for 15 years.

“My children actually went to this doctor,” Central Pierce Fire Captain Darrin Shaw told KIRO 7 outside the destroyed building on Monday morning.

Shaw says it’ll take several days to determine a cause because the building will have to be torn apart.  But in the face of destruction the community is already helping find a temporary location.

”Before the fire was even out we had numerous offices, numerous doctors in Pierce County reaching out to us,” Peterson said.

The doctors own the building and are covered by insurance.  And the employees are keeping a positive, resilient attitude.

“You don’t ever anticipate something like this happening,” Peterson said.  “And when it does just that feeling from the community, the support. It really humbles you. Makes you feel good. We’re going to build stronger, we’re going to be together.”