Citizen and public works employees recognized for response to March 10 fire

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Andrew Lorenzen, Marcus Hanna and Scott Fitch were recognized Monday night by the Lynnwood City Council, Public Works Director Bill Franz and Fire Chief Scott Cockrum. (Photo courtesy Lynnwood Fire)

A member of the public and two Lynnwood Public Works employees were recognized at Monday night’s City Council meeting for their actions during a three-alarm fire on March 10.

Around 8: 40 a.m. that day, a large tree fell onto some power lines during a windstorm, which caused a power surge through the ground and ultimately led to two house fires on opposite sides of the street, Lynnwood Fire Chief Scott Cockrum said. Both houses’ gas mains had broken and ignited and there was an uncontrolled flow of natural gas into the fires.

Lynnwood resident Scott Fitch located a woman who was inside one of the houses when the fire began. She had been injured, so he cared for her before crews arrived. She was eventually taken to the hospital.

Two public works employees, Andrew Lorenzen and Marcus Hanna, witnessed the incident while working nearby. They helped make sure everyone was outside and blocked off the road to regular traffic so fire crews could easily access the homes when they arrived.

“We appreciate very much the work they did for us,” Cockrum said.

Public Works Director Bill Franz was especially excited to recognize his employees.

“A former mayor, Tina Roberts, used to call public works crews ‘silent heroes,’” Franz said. “On that morning, they weren’t silent. They rose to action. They recognized the immediate danger of the power line sparking a gas line. They saw one of the houses was on fire.

“So we are not going to be silent heroes tonight, we want to be loud in our thanks for you guys too,” Franz continued.

Fitch said more than three people helped out that day.

“It was a very chaotic day when I came around the corner and saw the tree on the ground, the power lines on the ground,” Fitch said. “Everybody who came across the incident wanted to jump into action, wanted to do something.”

The three men were given certificates of appreciation from the city as well as a generous applause from everyone in attendance.

“And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what the City of Lynnwood is all about. Right there,” Council President M. Christopher Boyer said.

Also during Monday night’s City Council meeting:

  • An interlocal agreement with Snohomish County was approved for Meadowdale playfields project funding
  • A consultant contract was approved for a wastewater treatment plant and pump station infrastructure upgrade
  • An updated financial plan and consultant contract was approved for sewer lift stations no. 4 and no. 8
  • An updated financial plan, construction contract award and on-call support services were approved for the 2015-2016 road overlay and rebuild program

–By Natalie Covate

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