A Pierce County firefighter and his fiancé helped put out a fire last Sunday, moments after becoming engaged.
Lucas Mayne, 26, had coordinated a surprise engagement for girlfriend Summer Holst, 21, on board the Polar Express the evening of Dec. 3.
The special train is a holiday version of the Mt. Rainier Railroad in Elbe.
“When it was time for Santa to come through the aisles and take pictures with everyone, well, that’s when I had my chance to drop down to a knee and ask her to marry me,” he said.
She said yes.
Mayne is a volunteer firefighter but works part time for South Pierce Fire and Rescue, District 17. He even lives at the Ohop fire station.
“I’m a little immersed,” Mayne described himself.
After the engagement, the couple drove through Eatonville on their way to Holst’s parents home for dinner.
Normally, Mayne would have taken Washington Avenue. Instead, he took a two-block detour to show Holst Christmas lights he and other firefighters had installed at the Eatonville fire station.
As Mayne crossed Mashell Avenue just after 8 p.m. he noticed a crowd of people in the street.
“That’s when Summer turned and saw the flames, just before I did,” he said.
An Eatonville wine and liquor store was fully involved in flames.
“Then we looked back at the station and we noticed all the lights were off, there were no cars parked in front,” Mayne said.
A lack of staffing had left the station unmanned, a situation that occurs from time to time.
“We looked at each other and she said, ‘You need to go, don’t you?’ ” he recalled.
He ran into the station, grabbed his lieutenant’s fire gear and climbed into a fire truck.
At the same time, a nearby fire station was being notified of the fire.
When Mayne pulled up to the fire, an Eatonville police officer was already spraying it with an extinguisher.
With the officer’s help Mayne had the fire knocked down by the time the other firefighters arrived a few minutes later.
Meanwhile, Holst was removing kinks from fire hoses.
“I had to tell her, ‘Honey, I can handle this. Please stay back and stay safe’,” Mayne said.
Holst switched to traffic control.
All while wearing her new engagement ring.
The arriving fire crew relieved the couple and they arrived at her parents’ home, smelling like smoke.
The wedding is scheduled for Aug. 17.