Firefighter injured in Twisp fires recovering at Harborview

KING 5's Jesse Knutson reports.

SEATTLE -- One of the four firefighters severely burned while fighting wildfires near Twisp was recovering Thursday at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Daniel Lyon, 25, of Puyallup, was airlifted to Harborview Wednesday in critical condition. Doctors say he suffered third degree burns to over 50 to 75 percent of his body.

Doctors said he was in the resuscitation phase, receiving a lot of fluids, and doctors were trying to stabilize his condition. If his condition improves, doctors hope to move him to the operation phase, where they will remove some of the burns from his body.

Lyon had only been a firefighter for a few months with the U.S. Forest Service before heading to Central Washington to battle the Okanogan Complex Fire.

On Thursday, Lyon's parents said how proud they are of their son, and how much he loved serving his community.

"He would call me every day and he would always tell me not to worry, things are fine," Barbara Lyon, Daniel's mother, said. "I would say, 'Daniel, I pray for you every night, for your safety and the others', and you're going to do well.'"

Lyon is a graduate for Rogers High School in Puyallup, and for the better part of the past year, he served his community as a reserve police officer for the city of Milton.

"He's a very brave young man," Milton Police Chief Tony Hernandez said. "He's got that first responder blood in his body, whether it's policing or firefighting."

When Hernandez heard about Daniel's injuries, he told his officers, and they headed to Harborview with no hesitation to support their friend and colleague.

"When our guys went in there, he had been rather – not doing a lot of movement and things like that." Hernandez explained. "When he saw our officer come in, he gave him a high-five, as best he could."

While family and close friends are at Daniel's side during his recovery, the community he served and many he has never met are hoping for a speedy recovery.

"I want his family, I especially want his mother to know that we are praying for him." Debra Perry, mayor of Milton said. "This morning all the pastors in the area got together and we prayed for him, and we believe there will be a full recovery. We want to support Daniel as much as Daniel has supported us."

Daniel's parents said the support their son has received is remarkable, and they hope the support, along with his strong will, will help his recovery.

"He's just a go-getter. When he sets his mind to something, he's going to do it." Barbara Lyon said.

Three other firefighters died Wednesday after their vehicle crashed during a wildfire near Twisp and flames likely overtook them. Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest officials on Thursday identified the firefighters as Tom Zbyszewski, 20;
Andrew Zajac, 26; and Richard Wheeler, 31.

Three other firefighters suffered injuries. Their conditions and the locations where they were being treated were unknown.

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