SEATTLE -- Western Washington was soaring past heat records Thursday, forcing people and animals to find ways to stay cool.
The previous record of 87 degrees at SeaTac Airport was broken before 1 p.m. It reached 95 degrees by 6 p.m.
One bank sign in Chehalis indicated 104 degrees, but that was more an indication of what it felt like than the actual temperature which was about 10 degrees cooler.
The predicted high for Seattle on Friday will be 90, but that will quickly drop into the upper-70s for the weekend.
Related: Heat safety tips
Water was the word of the day across the region. The Union Gospel Mission worked to keep the homeless hydrated in Seattle's Pioneer Square. In SeaTac, firefighters battled an apartment fire in hot, heavy gear. They made sure to take regular water breaks and find some shade.
Pierce County has designated several dozen buildings as cooling centers this week to help protect people, including several dozen libraries and communities centers in the county. People are also encouraged to take advantage of movie theaters, malls and other stores that have air conditioning.
Related: Puget Sound area cooling centers
In King County, two cooling centers have opened. If you're seeking relief in Redmond, the air-conditioned Redmond Senior Center will be open to everyone Thursday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. And the Federal Way Community Center, located at 876 S. 333rd Street, will be open to all citizens during the period of possible extreme hot weather.
While the public buildings are just for people, some pet stores, including the Petco in Puyallup, are inviting animals inside as well, where water dishes are ready.
"As long as your pet's on a leash or in some kind of, smaller animals, containment facility, they're always welcome in this store. And it's air conditioned and the floor's cool," said Caroline Jensen, general manager at Puyallup Petco.
It's also important to check on your elderly neighbors or people with underlying health problems. They are most at risk. And if you exercise outside, do it in the morning or evening.
Related: Click here for latest weather forecast