Firefighter saves own family from burning house

by: Gary Horcher Updated:

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SNOHOMISH, Wash. - A Snohomish County firefighter is being credited with saving lives while off-duty Tuesday.

His quick reaction got his own family out of his house—just before it burned to the ground.

As she watched her house burning, the firefighter’s wife told KIRO 7, “I'm so thankful my husband was home."

Renee Mansfield says he had the day off, and he instantly recognized strange popping sounds coming from the walls.

“He went and looked at the other end of the house, he came back and said get the kids out,” Mansfield said.  “So I got them out."

By the time she grabbed her 2-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter, the fire was already erupting and moving in their path.

“Flames were just coming in when we passed through the kitchen," she said.

"It was scary at first, and then my mom started crying," said Mansfield’s daughter.

Despite firefighters' valiant attempts to save any part of the 5,000-square foot house, it was a total loss. Flames in the first few minutes raged through the interior. Frustrating firefighters, the closest hydrant was far from this rural Snohomish property.

“The biggest problem was we couldn't get water up here quick enough,” said District 4 Fire Chief Ron Simmons.

Renee Mansfield put the loss of everything she owned into immediate perspective. “It's just stuff,” she said.  “It can all be replaced. My family's safe."