Smokey Point man and his mother lose their Marysville home to fire

SMOKEY POINT — In a dim motel room, Bill Sarazin, 63, sat shirtless on one of two beds, holding a damp washcloth to where his right leg used to be.

Lorraine Sarazin, who turned 83 Wednesday, sat next to her double-amputee son. She picked up a photograph of her late husband, Norman Sarazin. The print, still in good condition, was pulled from a melted, metal frame that once sat in the back bedroom of her home.

For both, the pain was overwhelming.

The family lost almost everything when a fire destroyed their home in Marysville in late November. Now Lorraine, Bill and Bill’s son and brother are homeless.

“We’ve had a lot of trouble in the family,” Lorraine Sarazin said. “When you get older, you expect to eventually have a good life.”

Investigators believe an improperly installed wood stove sparked the blaze just before 9:30 p.m. Nov. 26 at the home in the 15200 block of Smokey Point Boulevard. Lorraine and her husband, who died of cancer in 1991, used to run an antiques store from the home, which decades ago was a restaurant.

Now the family is living at the Smokey Point Motor Inn, about a mile from their burned-out home. Their small motel room is packed with boxes and baskets of clothing and other supplies donated by Snohomish County Red Cross, nurses, family and friends.

The timing of the fire could not have been worse.

Bill Sarazin, a former auto wrecker whose legs have been amputated because of circulation problems, underwent surgery in October to have the last of his right leg removed. The surgical wound became infected, and he was recovering in a portable hospital bed at his mother’s home.

He is in near-constant pain and requires daily medical attention from nurses.

“It’s all difficult, ain’t none of it easy,” said Bill, who served in the Navy during the early 1960s.

Bill was in his wheelchair in the kitchen when the fire started. He heard loud booming noises, then saw bright flashes and sparks flying from the walls.

“I was sitting there in shock, watching it get bigger, and there was nothing I could do about it,” he said.

Lorraine called 911 from the house phone – which still worked – and then went outside in the cold rain.

Jeff Sarazin, 34, Bill’s son, immediately emptied a large fire extinguisher onto the flames. When that didn’t work, he emptied out a second extinguisher. Then he ran outside and grabbed the garden hose.

As he battled the growing blaze, he began to realize he wouldn’t be able to save his family’s home, he said.

“I’ve never been in a house while it was on fire, and I didn’t realize how hot it would get so quickly,” he said.

Ted Sarazin, Bill’s 65-year-old brother, was out playing Bingo when the fire happened.

Good fortune smiled upon the Sarazins when a team of Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Explorers saw the fire as they drove home from a training class. The Explorers, ages 15 to 18, helped take the Sarazins a safe distance from the blaze.

Since then, Jeff Sarazin has spent most of his free time trying to salvage whatever he can from the ruined home. He found the photo of Norman, and he also found a gold watch that belongs to Bill.

The items saved do not compare to all that was lost, Jeff says.

Lorraine’s favorite Bible was destroyed in the blaze. So were several decorative plates that were given to her by one of her sisters, who died a few years ago. Jeff has decided not to tell his family how much stuff he’s had to throw away.

“I lost a lot of nice things I’ve had for years,” Lorraine said. “You can imagine, everything is destroyed.”

Bill’s other son, Todd, who lives in Seattle, is helping the family look for a new place to live.

It could have ended worse, Lorraine said. Had Jeff not seen the fire right away, she may have gone back to her bedroom, where she might have been trapped by the flames.

“We got out with our lives, anyway,” she said.

Reporter Scott Pesznecker: 425-339-3436 or spesznecker@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Paul McElhany points out how far the new building will extend past the current building at Northwest Fisheries Science Center's Mukilteo Research Station on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 in Mukilteo, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Oh, crab! NOAA’s Mukilteo waterfront fish lab won’t be rebuilt

Bids for a new Northwest Fisheries Science Center research station are too high. Are condos next?

Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney during an interview at the sheriff’s department June 17, 2020. (Sue Misao / The Herald)
Auditor denies Fortney recall group the extra time it seeks

He said he could extend the deadline for signature gathering if ordered by a court or the Governor.

State Patrol worker from Everett charged with attempted child rape

Trevor Smith worked as a commercial vehicle enforcement officer assigned inspecting school buses.

A pre-loaded syringe with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine sits on the table for the next person in line during a vaccine clinic as South Pointe Assisted Living on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Snohomish County to receive its largest shipment of vaccines

Even as case counts drop, researchers are finding a growing number of COVID variants in the state.

Austin Johnson, 26 years-old, trains on the Centennial Trail in Lake Stevens and is planning to do a 24-hour run to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
24 hours, 80 miles, $23k raised for mental health

Austin Johnson completes a 24-hour run along the Centennial Trail to raise money for suicide prevention.

Everett man identified after being found dead in creek

The cause of death for Renee Baltazar Romero remained under investigation Thursday.

Everett man found dead in creek near Lake Stevens

The man, 28, was reported missing Thursday. A neighbor found his body in Little Pilchuck Creek.

Autopsy shows Lake Stevens woman, 20, drowned Saturday

Anna M. Lopez was swimming when witnesses noticed she was not responsive, according to officials.

Joe Hempel swims off of the shore of Seawall Park on Friday, Jan. 29, 2021 in Langley, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Scantily clad is the dress code for these cold rush swimmers

Immersed for 30 minutes in frigid water would kill most of us. It energizes these swimmers.

Most Read