One Dead, One Hospitalized After Addy House Fire

Published On: Sep 08 2011 01:44:22 PM PDT   Updated On: Aug 16 2011 06:31:22 AM PDT
ADDY, Wash. -

A fast moving house fire Monday night killed a Stevens County man and left his wife fighting for her life in a Seattle hospital.

The fire started just after 11:30 Monday night just outside of Addy near Cedonia-Addy Road. 74-year-old Gerry Fuller died in the fire while his wife, Laura Fuller, is in stable but critical condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Curt McKinney just finished working in his field Monday night when he heard an explosion.

"When I went back to look there were just flames shooting in the air, a hundred, 200 feet. Just huge flames, just a really, really hot fire," McKinney said.

McKinney watched in disbelief as his neighbor's house burned to the ground.

"It's sad when you realize how fast it can happen. I mean it was incredibly fast," he said.

Les Schneiter was the first firefighter to arrive at the home. He quickly treated Laura for severe burns to her face and hands.

"The house was fully engulfed when we arrived the roof already caved in," he said.

A Medstar helicopter landed a short time later and Laura Fuller was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center.

Her husband Gerry didn't make it out, and investigators believe he was overwhelmed by the smoke.

"That's very difficult ? you want to go in there and get him and in a case like this where its so fully involved, there was no chance," Schneiter said.

The fire burned so hot and so fast, by the time firefighters got to the Fullers' home there wasn't much they could save the house. Investigators are saying that it will be tough to pinpoint exactly what started the fire.

Investigators don't believe the fire is suspicious and will have to wait until the house cools off before they can begin their investigation.

This was the first deadly fire in this area in six years. Firefighters who responded to the fire will have access to grief counselors to help cope with what happened Monday night.