Injured firefighter earns settlement from utilities in Twisp River blaze

Daniel Lyon (via Instagram @forged_by_fire_apparel)

NOTE: This article originally misidentified the utility companies that were party to Lyon’s settlement. This version has been corrected.

TACOMA — The firefighter badly burned in the 2015 Twisp River Fire reached a $5 million settlement this week with Okanogan and Douglas County electric utilities.

Daniel Lyon of Puyallup was the sole survivor in a crew of four men whose truck was overwhelmed by flames. Investigators identified a tree branch contacting electric lines as the cause of the deadly 12,000-acre fire.

Lyon’s partners Richard Wheeler, Andrew Zajac and Tom Zbyszewski died in the blaze, and Lyon suffered burns over 70 percent of his body. His Tacoma-based attorneys announced the settlement Wednesday.

Lyon’s court claim initially asked for $100 million in damages from the defendants — the Douglas County PUD and the Okanogan County Electric Cooperative. It also challenged a state doctrine that prevents first responders from suing for injury.