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This week in history - from The Arlington Times archives

10 Years Ago 1997

Don Kazen, 74, doesnt sound like a man who has spent the last 25 years making money from other peoples tragedies. He looks at it less as a business and more of an outreach. Kazen, owner of Kazens Towing, retired last week after more then two decades of answering calls 24-horus-a-day. He slumps in his chair, a tiny crooked smile starts in the middle of his heavily lined face as he thinks about the last two decades. Now dont make me out to be a good man, the long-time dairy farmer said, because Im not He swipes a palm over his tousled gray hair and remembers what his dad told him. A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, he quoted. I knew a long time ago that I wasnt going to be rich, so I guess I focused on the good name. Anyone who has had the good fortune to be helped by Kazens one-truck tow business would remember it. He offered deluxe service. For a long time we didnt have any hotels in the (Smokey Point/Arlington) area and so when somebody would break down, we would offer them a place to stay (in our home, he said. They still get cards from people who became their friends after breaking down. Of all his tales of wrecks and deaths, it is the month of April 1987, that causes him to pause and frown. He had impounded a yellow 1972 Chrysler New Yorker with Montana plates in early April when he read a newspaper article describing the car. The car was last seen in the possession of Darren ONeal, who had been linked to the disappearance of a Pierce County Woman. He called the Snohomish County Sheriffs Office, leading to a search of the car. When police opened the trunk, a large quantity of blood and a blood-soaked jacket, along with papers linking ONeal to the crime were inside. Although helping to catch a murderer was electrifying, it doesnt compare to what he saw as his real vocation helping people. He sits up when he talks about the mother whose car broke down in the middle of the highway. I had to tow it away and when she came to pick it up, she couldnt afford the charge, he said. She explained she was a working mother with two children and if she didnt have the van she would loose her job. He let her take the car, asking her to send the money when she could. I never did see her again, he said. A few years ago, after crossing the Canadian border on his way to Vancouver, a woman appeared on the road in his headlights. She was a wreck, he said. She sobbed, telling him her story of two men raping her. The police eventually caught the rapists and put them on trial. Kazen followed the case as best he could by visiting the trial seven times. Kazen saw his physical ability lessen in the past few years and recently sold his one-horse tow truck to Arlington native Mike Johnson. But for a man born in 1924, less then two miles from where he now lives, he truly believes he has lived an adventure an adventure that doesnt have an epilogue as yet. My wife and I want to go see all the friends and places we couldnt go when I was running the tow truck, he said. A big grin spreads across his face as he watches his two granddaughters cheerfully enter the room. And maybe Ill have time for my girls, too.


25 Years Ago 1982

Its early December, so it must be time for a flood. Sure enough, heavy rains Friday sent the Stillaguamish River and its tributaries to high water marks, spilling over the banks in places to block roads upriver around Oso and downriver around Silvana. Damage to roads appeared to be relatively slight and there were no reported injuries, though many vehicles were stranded in high water. Oso Fire Captain Dick Sass reported several vehicles became stranded on SR-530 just west of Oso by Yorks Mill. In places, there was a foot and a half of water over the loop road, he noted. The only real concern for the volunteers came when a paraplegic driver became stuck for a short time on SR-530. He had pulled out to go around some water when an oncoming vehicle forced him back into the water where his car grounded out. Firemen pulled him free. Its that time of year, said Sass. Sass job on the county road crew kept him busy checking bridges all Friday and early Saturday. The Ciciero railroad bridge recorded water up to 12.9 feet on the bridges yardstick the water reached to within 3 or 4 feet of the bottom of the bridge. Much debris became entangled on the bridge piers. Sass said he checked the Swede Heaven bridge Thursday evening and again Friday morning. The water had risen 7.5 feet over night. By 3 p.m., the water there was at its highest, a total rise of 10.5 feet. By 9 p.m., the water had gone down 3.5 feet. Meanwhile, downriver Silvana was up to its usual flood water level with much of the downtown main street flooded and many side roads which crisscross the valley also flooded, particularly roads which cut beneath the railroad tracks.


50 Years Ago 1957

Five-year-old Lenna Grace Dearman, daughter of Mrs. Lyle Arnold, was the victim of a midnight fire which destroyed the family home on R.5, Arlington and severely burned two other children, Reda Elaine Deraman, 7 and Dorothy Gray, 4, both daughters of Mrs. Arnold. Mr. and Mrs. Arnold and five other children escaped from the burning house by breaking windows. According to Mrs. Arnold the family were all asleep and she was awakened by the sound of fire. When she awakened she said the living room was completely engulfed in flames. The parents roused the children. Mr. Arnold broke a window and put the smaller children outside. Little Julie Ellen, 9, broke a window with her fist and got out. The other children and parents escaped through windows. A search was made for little Lenna Grace, but she couldnt be found until the flames had been cooled down and the remains were found. The children are: Arthur Le Roy Arnold, 13; Julie Ellen Arnold, 9; Everett Freeman Arnold, 8; David Dearman, 9; Reda Elaine Dearman, 7; Leanna Grace Dearman, 5; Dorothy Gray, 4; and Robert Lyle Gray, 20 months. Reda Elaine Dearman, 7 and Dorothy Gray, 4, received second degree burns and were brought to the Arlington hospital by Mr. and Mrs. Arnold for treatment. They were later taken by ambulance to the Orthopedic hospital in Seattle, Firemen Paul Van Horn and Joe Sabo in charge of the ambulance, left here shortly after midnight. Mr. Arnold is employed by the Snohomish County Dairymans Association as a milk truck driver. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Arnold of R. 5, Arlington. The Granite Falls Fire Department was called and also the Arlington Fire Department. The home is located on a side road off the Burn road, 8.5 miles south of Arlington towards Granite Falls. By the time the firemen arrived the house, which was a one-story dwelling was completely destroyed.

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