Son unable to get father, 56, out of burning home
LACEY – A father was killed and his son hurt Tuesday in a fire that destroyed a small house in Lacey.
Fire crews arrived at the home in the 1200 block of Sleater Kinney Road Southeast about 2 a.m. to find it engulfed in flames, said Lacey Fire District 3 Battalion Chief Steve Crimmins.
A man standing outside told crews his 56-year-old father, Jonathan K. Ensign, was still inside. Firefighters broke through a window and had the man out within seven minutes, Crimmins said.
Crews immediately began resuscitation efforts and took the father and son to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, where Ensign was pronounced dead. An autopsy is scheduled for today, Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock said.
“He’s always kind of an easygoing guy, and he loved to work on cars,” said Ensign’s brother-in-law, Dennis Kish Sr. “If someone needed help, he wouldn’t hesitate.”
Ensign worked as a mechanic, kept to himself and moved to the small rental home a few years ago with his son after his wife died, Kish said.
Ensign’s son, Robert, woke up Tuesday to see the smoke and flames.
“They are saying he was lucky he even woke up,” Kish said. “He tried to wake (his father), and usually it takes one time and he’s up.”
After calling out to him three or four times, Ensign finally awoke.
“When he did wake up he was real groggy, which he was obviously taking in the smoke or fumes,” Kish said. “When he was trying to get out, he’s taller, and he kept collapsing because he couldn’t get any breath.”
Kish said Robert Ensign tried to get his father out, but couldn’t. He tried to grab a hose to battle the flames, but the fire was already out of control.
The son ran to a neighbors house and called 911. Fire crews had the fire out within 10 minutes.
The 500-square-foot home was a total loss; damage was estimated at about $40,000.
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