EVERETT — A two-alarm fire killed an Everett woman at a home off Mukilteo Boulevard, and sent her daughter and husband to hospitals Thursday.
The adult daughter suffered severe burns to her back.
Neighbors heard someone shouting, “Fire!” and “Help!” around 2:30 a.m. at a brick house on Shore Avenue, a quiet street with manicured lawns and waterfront views near Mukilteo.
Screams woke Alex Yonke, 22, who lives two doors north of the home.
“It was horrible,” he said.
The elderly husband, a retired physician, escaped without serious injuries.
“He saw his wife and thought she was right behind him,” Everett Assistant Fire Marshal Steve Goforth said.
Flames engulfed the basement, where a furnace and old knob-and-tube wiring will likely be the focal points of an investigation.
The daughter had been in the basement. She’d suffered burns to about half of her back before she could run outside, Goforth said. She had moved into the home again to help care for her aging mother, said next-door neighbor Nancy Wendt, 71.
As firefighters arrived, they learned the mother, who was about 80, was still trapped inside.
A neighbor had rushed in to try to save her, according to the Everett Fire Department.
“He made a heroic attempt, with no gear or anything,” Goforth said.
But by then the flames had grown too mighty. The neighbor retreated from the burning building as Mukilteo firefighters arrived.
His efforts were not in vain. He pointed fire crews to the woman’s location in the home — allowing firefighters to find her right away, and giving them a chance to save her, Goforth said.
About 50 firefighters and medics from Everett, Mukilteo, Marysville, South County Fire and the Naval Station converged on the neighborhood.
Firefighters rushed inside, carried the woman to the street and performed CPR.
Despite their efforts, she died at the scene.
She was originally from Spain, said Wendt.
Wendt brushed at tears as she shared memories. The family moved next door in the 1970s. Her children grew up with their daughters. He was a doctor who met his wife in Europe, she said.
Years ago they’d talked about putting in a gate between the two homes, but instead they’d just pick up the girls and lift them over the fence, when they wanted to play.
Kids in both families attended Catholic school together, often riding in the same car to class.
Often when the mother got excited or agitated, she’d revert to rapid Spanish.
She’d been a good neighbor, Wendt said.
“A good woman, just a good woman,” she said.
The cause of death will be determined by the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Authorities had not officially released her name.
The daughter was taken to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett and later transferred to the burn center at Harborview Medical Center. Firefighters were optimistic that she’d survive.
The father was treated at the Everett hospital.
Foam streaked the concrete beneath three cars and a camper in the driveway Thursday. Crews had stretched fire hoses around the vehicles, taking water from a hydrant down the street.
Only the garage is visible from Shore Avenue. The brick home is tucked about 100 feet behind tall green hedges, leafy trees and a locked gate.
Property records suggest the house was built in the 1940s.
The house appeared to be a total loss, said Goforth, the Everett assistant fire marshal. Its market value had been assessed this year at just over $1 million.
Firefighters had to flee as the floor began to buckle. From there, it was a defensive battle.
The space around the furnace was badly burned, Goforth said. But the basement remained under three or four feet of water into the afternoon, slowing any effort to find the fire’s cause.
Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @snocaleb.