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Seattle fire probe hampered by danger; cause deemed undetermined

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SEATTLE — The Chinatown International District building where 13 people were slain in Washington state’s deadliest massacre more than 30 years ago now holds another place in the annals of Seattle history: The cause of the Christmas Eve fire that heavily damaged the three-story structure was officially declared undetermined Thursday.

“The building is unsafe,” Fire Chief Gregory Dean announced at a late-afternoon news briefing, where he explained that fire investigators were unable to reach upper parts of the 104-year-old building to carry out the painstaking work of pulling apart evidence and examining burn patterns.

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