Good Samaritan saves South Sound family from burning home

PARKLAND, Wash. — A good Samaritan has been credited with saving a South Sound family from a fire engulfing their home.

The father is in critical condition, while his daughter is also hospitalized after a fire tore through their home on 9th Avenue Court South in Parkland.

Everyone else got out safely.

Firefighters say an alert neighbor is the reason for that.

It was sometime after 5 a.m. Saturday when the house caught fire. It is hard to see in the dark but the fire damaged this house badly.

Firefighters say a neighbor’s quick action made a lifesaving difference.

This was the frightening scene Jennifer Graves came home to from her health care job at about 5:30 a.m. Saturday.

“And the closer I got, the scarier it looked,” she said. “And I just called 911.”

Her neighbor’s home, where two adults and four children live, was on fire. Graves didn’t want to show her face but agreed to describe what she saw.

“It looked like a bonfire,” Graves said. “But it was too big.”

She says she walked down to her neighbor’s house from her own, with growing alarm.

After all, it was early and she assumed the family was sleeping, she said. But it was “not real long” before the family came out of their house.

The homeowner, his wife and three children escaped. But he ran back in when he realized his 11-year-old daughter was still inside. Soon, both were trapped. Graves encouraged them to jump to safety.

Capt. Darrin Shaw says everyone was out by the time Central Pierce Fire & Rescue arrived.

Firefighters were greeted by “heavy black smoke and fire from the second story,” he says.

But they had to cut back vegetation to get to the house to fight the fire.

He says what happened here is a reminder to close the doors inside your home before going to bed, to keep smoke contained in one room if there is a fire.

“And make sure your smoke detectors work,” he said.

He credits Jennifer Graves with helping save this family.

“Had it not been for the neighbor today, knocking on doors, waking them up,” said Capt. Shaw, “we would have definitely had a very different outcome.”

“God put me in the right place at the right time,” said Graves.

Capt. Shaw says he does not know if the family had working smoke detectors.

Another thing you can do to make sure firefighters can get to you is to make sure your house number is large and visible.

If you’re worried about whether emergency vehicles can easily get to your property, Central Pierce firefighters will come out and inspect it for you.

You just have to give them a call.

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