Sumner fire claims life of man, sister makes it out alive

A South Sound community is grieving after a man died in a fire in his bedroom.

The deadly fire consumed the fourplex unit a man shared with his sister.

The fire broke out Saturday morning in the 15900 block of 52nd Street East in Sumner.

The woman managed to escape, but her brother could not get out in time.

A neighbor who ran over to help said she didn’t know there was a fire until her mother got an alert and called her.

Now, she and the community are feeling the weight of the tragedy.

Even at a distance, it was easy to sense the pain of the moment.

“My heart just goes out to her family and everything she’s going through,” said Kimberly Courneya. “Yeah, it’s a sad time.”

Courneya hadn’t gotten up Saturday morning when her mother called her to report the fire.  She looked outside to see flames coming out of a window of the fourplex next door. She immediately spotted her neighbor.

“She lived in the unit that was on fire,” she said.

Courneya said Anna Tucker was still trying to process what happened.

“Shock,” she said. “It’s a lot to take in for something to happen. It was somewhat early in the morning.”

The fire started just before 10 a.m. Saturday in the fourplex unit where Tucker lived.  East Pierce firefighters said she tried to put out the flames with a fire extinguisher but couldn’t.

“Extinguishers are intended for very, very small fires,” said East Pierce fire spokeswoman Dina Sutherland. “For example, a very small trash can fire would be an equivalent because fire doubles every minute. So, once that fire gets out of control, the extinguisher won’t do you any good.”

Indeed, once firefighters were on the scene, they were able to quickly put the fire out. But it was too late to save Anna Tucker’s brother.  He was trapped inside.

“They lost a lot,” said Courneya. “Family, all their belongings and things. Everyone keeps all of their stuff in there, right?”

Fire investigators said they know where the fire started but they don’t yet know how.

Tucker’s son has identified his uncle as Rollyn Tucker, known as “Chip.”

He said his mother was left with virtually nothing.

So, he started a GoFundMe account for her.

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