A couple in the wildfire zone in Cle Elum is grateful that a memorial tree they planted years ago has survived the Taylor Bridge fire.

Mary Lou and Gene Smith, longtime residents of Sunlight Lakes, were evacuated because of the fire and returned home to find no damage, even though fire crept right to their doorstep.

Their neighbors weren't so lucky. Mangled metal marks a destroyed house that used to be theirs.

But Mary Lou Smith is most happy that something she planted many years ago survived. Her Mandy tree, a huge spruce that towers over her home, has special meaning.

Our dear friends had lost their daughter with heart surgery, she said.

That daughter was named Mandy. Smith played piano at her funeral. The small amount of money she was given to perform was used to buy the tree, and it's still there.

Mary Lou said when the tree was planted it was up to her knee and it's now about 20 feet tall.

KING 5's Susan Wyatt and John Langeler contributed to this report.

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