Injured Bothell firefighter undergoes facial surgery

BOTHELL — A veteran Bothell fire lieutenant is recovering from facial surgery at a Seattle hospital after being seriously injured when a snow-covered awning collapsed on top of him last week.

Doctors are optimistic that Gary Wick, 52, will recover quickly, Bothell Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Allen said.

On Monday, surgeons installed six plates in his face.

“The surgery was completed much faster than expected,” she said in a statement. “Recovery time has not yet been determined.”

Wick was responding to a call Friday afternoon about a patient with chest pain at the Green Acres Mobile Home Park, 23825 15th Ave. SE, when the collapse occurred.

The firefighter was bringing a stretcher for the patient when the awning came down on him, Allen said.

Wick suffered face and neck injuries and was rushed to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

He was upgraded from critical to stable condition as he awaited the Monday surgery.

The person in the mobile home was taken to Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland.

Officials last week had warned property owners about the dangers of heavy, melting snow since Dec. 22 when an industrial building in Marysville collapsed. No one was hurt in that incident.

“We definitely noticed the issue,” Allen said.

Still, firefighters stake their pride in thinking first about the people they’re helping, she said. On Friday, Wick was focused on reaching his patient.

“There’s a lot of honor in what they choose to do for others,” she said. “This is a real tragic accident.”

Since Friday, family, friends and fellow firefighters have spent hours at the hospital with Wick, Allen said.

Bothell residents have been calling the fire department offering their support.

“Lots of people want to know how they can pray for him,” Allen said.

News of the injury quickly spread through the tight-knit firefighter community in Snohomish County, Getchell Fire Chief Travis Hots said.

“It sounds like it was a very freak accident,” Hots said. “It really reminds how dangerous this job can be.”

Firefighters have been checking on Wick’s condition daily.

“He certainly is in our thoughts right now and we hope the best for him,” he said.

Herald reporter Jackson Holtz: 425-339-3437 or

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