Spokeswoman Sue Stangl told KOMO the century-old building may have lost structural integrity. Engineers planned to inspect the building Thursday to determine whether firefighters could go inside to look for the cause of the fire and assess the damage.
The three-story brick building was built 104 years ago and housed Chinese immigrants in its early days. In 1983 robbers killed 13 people at the Wah Mee gambling club in the building.
The top two floors have been uninhabitable for years, and the structure is already on the city's dangerous buildings list.
No one was injured in the fire. Businesses on the first floor are closed.