Seven days after he rescued three members of a Graham family, their mysterious Good Samaritan is still unknown.
Nicknamed “The Boeing Guy” because he was wearing a Boeing employee lanyard, he is also a friendly fellow and hung-out with Danny Kloss, Brenda Snell and her 15 year-old son Austin, after they escaped to safety.
According to family, neighbors and firefighters, the Boeing Guy was the first on the scene, seeing smoke and flames emanating from the Kloss home as he drove northbound on Meridian Ave at about 5 am last Saturday, heading to work at the Boeing Renton Plant. He pounded on the front door “for at least ten minutes,” according to a later re-construction of events by Brenda.
“His banging woke up our dog, Lexx, who was sleeping on our bed,” Brenda said. “We had the bedroom door closed, so Danny and me and the dog didn’t hear the smoke alarms, apparently.”
Brenda added that once Lexx awoke, he started barking at the noise the Boeing Guy was making, and the barking then woke up Brenda and Danny.
Brenda and Danny then ran to Austin’s bedroom, which was locked. Danny barreled into the door and pulled the young man out of his bed, and then carried him downstairs. Brenda returned to the master bedroom, called for Lexx who didn’t answer, and then ran for safety.
“The whole upstairs was filled with smoke,” she said. “We didn’t have much time, and Lexx apparently panicked and curled up next to the bed. I just didn’t see him.”
Waiting for them outside was the Boeing Guy. He helped them go next door to the Lindstrom’s, put his coat around Austin, and then helped the family regain their wits.
In addition, as GF&R units arrived the Boeing Guy helped the authorities sort-out the situation with the Kloss’. Then, he hung out with the family as they watched their house burn to the ground.
“He’s a real friendly guy,” said Brenda.
“He’s into antique motorcycles,” said Kloss. “He hung around with us and talked, and he told us his name, but in the confusion, I just can’t remember what it is.”
“He apparently has one of the earliest Harley’s ever made,” said Brenda. “He told us that collectors have offered him a lot of money for it.”
But, no one seems to be able to remember The Boeing Guy’s name – not the firefighters, Brenda, Danny or Austin, nor their next-door-neighbors Delanae and Bjorn Lindstrom who were very involved in caring for the Kloss family after their rescue.
“Yeah, I remember the guy,” said Battalion Chief Jay Espinosa who was one of the first members of the Graham Fire and Rescue on the scene last Saturday morning at about5:10 am. “I just don’t recall his name.”
“He gave Austin his Harley motorcycle jacket,” said Delanae, “and when he came back later in the day to pick it up, I made a point to read his name off his ID badge. But I can’t remember what it is – and I used to be a news director for a radio station in Branson, Missouri!”
Nevertheless, the former news director was able to give the best physical description of The Boeing Guy.”
“He’s about 6-foot, middle-aged, and drives a tan or brown full-sized pick-up truck,” said Delanae. “And he likes Harley’s – his jacket has a Harley logo over the left breast.”
“That describes about half the work force at Boeing,” media relations director Marc Birtel told the Mountain News with a chuckle. “Finding him with just those descriptions will be like trying to find a needle in a haystack.”
Other authorities at Boeing were concerned with making a formal effort to find The Boeing Guy.
“Not everyone wants to be in the news,” said one official. “We protect our employee’s privacy.”
Nevertheless, Boeing officials said they would “ask around” and see if anyone knows the identity of the hero in their midst.
Closer to Graham, inquires at local motorcycle shops by the Mountain News have proved unsuccessful, so far.
“Nope. Don’t know anyone like that,” said the proprietor of Ray’s Motorcycles on Meridian.
“Ah, there was Boeing guy in here yesterday,” said Ted Barney of TGM Power Sports, also on Meridian Ave, “but he wasn’t six-foot and he had a full beard, too.”
“I still can’t remember the guy’s name,” said a perplexed-looking Brenda Snell on Friday afternoon. “And Elisa Hahn from KING 5 called – she’s looking for the Boeing Guy, too,” she said with a wane smile, but her face appeared less stressed than she had earlier in the week.
As for Brenda’s family, they seemed to be dealing with the drama and traumas. Young Austin is staying with his grandmother in Puyallup, and Danny and Brenda are camped out on their property, living in an RV trailer and receiving utilities via the Lindstrom’s.
“We’ve received so many invitations from people to stay with them until we decide what to do,” said Brenda. “But there is so much happening here, so many people coming by – contractors, fire marshals, insurance adjustors, that it’s easier just to stay here for the time being.”
Later, Brenda and Danny acknowledged that they haven’t made a decision on whether to rebuild or relocate.
“We’ll know a lot more when the claims adjustors tell us what kind of figures we’ll be looking at,” said Danny. “When we know what kinds of numbers we’ll have to work with, then it’ll be easier to make a decision.
When asked how her family is coping, Brenda said that they are mostly doing fine, “except that Austin is upset that such a big deal is being made about the death of Lexx, but his cat Chippers died, too.”
© 2011 The Mountain News
Editor’s note: This comment was originally posted in the previous article on the Graham fire, and the death of Lexx and Chippers. The Mountain News re-printed it here so that all the readers drawn to this story may see it. -BAS
Karla Clippinger says:
April 30, 2011 at 1:14 am (Edit)
We are all neighbors, we are all human with true love for each other in our hearts if we only open up to it and give it freely to all. When tragedy strikes we hear of the heroes and the people who come to our aid when we need it the most. My prayer is that people would be like this every day to whoever needs us.
As God says; do not boast about your good deeds, as they are for you and God to know. The good Samaritan did just what God expects of us and sewed it into our genes. So many of us forget this.
Dogs do this without EVER thinking, because god made him too and made them to know when we need us and they will give up their lives to save ours. How many people would actually do that for another human being? Not many I can assure you.
Rest in peace Lexx.. God has you now that you did your work here on earth saving your family. We all love you!
And your point is? Am I not allowed to post a comment?
I added your comment from the previous story on the Graham fire here, Karla, so that your thoughts would have a wider audience. I am thankful you have shared them with us.
-Bruce A. Smith