Glen Allen (facing, with Mariners cap) bends the ear of Hugh Minor as the Snohomish High School class of 1942 meets at Hill Park in 2016. Allen died in a fire a few months later. (Dan Bates / Herald file)

Glen Allen (facing, with Mariners cap) bends the ear of Hugh Minor as the Snohomish High School class of 1942 meets at Hill Park in 2016. Allen died in a fire a few months later. (Dan Bates / Herald file)

Wrongful death lawsuit alleges PUD negligent in fatal fire

A 93-year-old WW II veteran died in the 2017 fire near Snohomish. The PUD is reviewing the case.

EVERETT — A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the Snohomish County PUD in connection with a fatal fire two years ago.

Glen Allen, 93, a World War II veteran, died in a house fire at his home off Roosevelt Road in the Snohomish area in January 2017.

Attorneys representing his family allege the PUD was at fault. They argue in court papers that Allen “perished in a house fire caused by (the) PUD’s negligent installation, maintenance, inspection and operation of high voltage electrical distribution lines and power poles.”

Specifically, they allege that one or more electrical service lines that the PUD installed from its power lines to the home failed in the early morning hours of Jan. 3, 2017.

Allen and his wife were sleeping when their radio alarm clock sounded at 4:20 a.m. They could smell smoke. They attempted to get out of the home but Glen Allen stumbled and fell in the hallway due to the smoke and fire, according to court papers. His wife thought he was behind her and didn’t realize he was trapped inside the burning home until it was too late.

The couple had been married for 69 years. They had built their home decades earlier.

“The death of Glen Allen was reasonably foreseeable, should have been anticipated and would have been prevented had the PUD fulfilled their duties of care,” the plaintiffs allege.

Aaron Swaney, a Snohomish County PUD spokesman, said the utility is reviewing the complaint.

“We don’t really comment on ongoing litigation,” he said.

The lawsuit alleges that the PUD instructed employees to cut and remove the damaged sections of the power line that failed. The plaintiffs also said the PUD had a legal obligation to keep the damaged line as evidence.

The lawsuit was filed in King County Superior Court. It did not specify how much money in damages is being sought.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

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