Wednesday was a busy day for firefighters in Thurston County as they worked to put out hot spots on the Scatter Creek Fire. The fast-moving fire burned 485 acres, destroying several homes and a business.
Rick Dean owns land in the area and said they watched as the fire burned near I-5.
"They evacuated and the fire came and it took everything in its path,” he said.
It moved quickly, barely giving those with homes and businesses in its way a chance to react. John Deaguiar owns a topsoil and landscape supply business and said he started getting calls that the fire was near his business.
“I was trying to make it back up here and by the time I could get here everything went up in flames,” he explained. Deaguiar lost machinery, buildings, and products.
He has minimal insurance coverage but continued to smile.
"Work a lifetime to build a business and it's gone in a moment,” he said.
Deaguiar seemed to be taking it all in stride; it’s not the first time he’s faced this sort of loss.
“When we had a dairy farm back in ’96 we went through a flood and now a fire; hopefully, it will be all sunshine from now on,” he explained.
The loss was particularly tough on the stretch of land where the historic Miller Brewer house stood. Thurston Fire Captain Lanette Dyer described a scary scene.
“It was a situation where we had an active fire. It came up and took control and we had fire on all sides,” she said.
Fire crews tried to save the historic site and the barn but ended up retreating for their own safety. “It's a surreal thing, especially if you were here and being surrounded by that fire and leave it and watching it go,” he said.
Don King and his family returned home Wednesday morning to find little left of their memories. Their house was among those destroyed. King says it’s difficult to make sense of it, especially for his son.
“When we said we were coming to check it out, he asked if we could pick up his Legos,” he said.