Families surprised to see homes standing after hundreds of acres burned

The evacuation zone and level in Sumner and Bonney Lake stayed the same going into Wednesday night.

Homeowners returned to the hillside development where firefighters protected property from the wildfire’s path. Two homes are destroyed.

On Wednesday, Chief Bud Backer of East Pierce Fire and Rescue said the fire containment remained at 20 percent and an estimated 800 acres burned since the wildfire started overnight Monday.

Two homes on the other side of SR-410 are destroyed, bringing the total to four houses.

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“The whole hillside behind us is all burnt, and all the trees out here are burnt up,” said Anthony Lackey, whose home was spared. “Me and my wife were down in the valley watching it and we just broke down in tears. Like, we thought we were going to lose our house for sure.”

Power returned to homes and businesses on Wednesday. Sprinklers were spraying nonstop on dry grass and homes were sprayed down.

“I was told by one of the firefighters here when the fire was originally behind this house, they were going to let it go because they didn’t have enough firefighters to fight the fire behind my house,” said Lackey. “Then all of a sudden, Orting Fire Department comes up the road and they’re like, 'How can we help?' and Eastside Fire says, 'Go save that house right there.' So Orting is the one that saved my house. I owe everything to them.”

Help was pouring in from all parts of Pierce, King, Kitsap, Kittitas and Snohomish counties.

Parts of the hillside were smoldering, and firefighters were responding to parts of Bonney Lake for reports of new brush fires.

“It makes me nervous again. Like supposedly we might be under another evacuation because that fire could jump over the freeway again, but I don’t know how it can burn again because the whole thing is burned already,” said Lackey.

Most families chose to stay out of their homes on Wednesday night, though a few returned. Firefighters with East Pierce continued to monitor hot spots.