GETCHELL — When a man and woman, possibly in their 50s, realized their home east of Marysville was on fire early Wednesday morning, they made their way downstairs to escape.
The smoke had grown thick on the first floor. They became disoriented, then separated, said Chief Travis Hots of the Getchell fire district.
The man made it out. She did not.
Their son, in his 20s, jumped to safety from the second story of the house in the 11900 block of 103rd Avenue NE.
Then he turned around and went back inside to rescue his mother. He found her, incapacitated by smoke, and brought her outside.
“It is my opinion that he saved her life,” Hots said.
They were both seriously injured by the flames and transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. They were being treated in the intensive care unit Wednesday afternoon, according to a spokesperson.
The older man suffered smoke inhalation but declined transportation to a hospital.
If the family had taken any longer to escape, someone might have died, Hots said.
“It really sounds like they got out of there by the skin of their teeth,” he said.
By the time firefighters arrived, shortly after 1 a.m., the house was ablaze and collapsing. Hots said he wasn’t sure how long it took the residents to call 911, but he believes there was a significant delay.
Firefighters spent hours getting the flames under control. The nearest fire hydrant was miles away, and trucks hauled in water from five other fire agencies.
The fire was knocked down by 6 a.m., and hot spots were still being doused late into the morning.
The house and its contents were a total loss, Hots said.
“It’s just a pile of rubble,” he said.
A travel trailer and two cars also were damaged.
The cause of the fire is being investigated by the Snohomish County Fire Marshal’s Office.