Skip to Content

Bonny Doon man credited with saving 10 homes from burning down in his neighborhood

Mark Kuchler loads up water into his fire truck

BONNY DOON, Calif. (KION) Mixed in with the devastation, 10 of the homes along Bonny Doon road that still stand are likely because of one of the neighborhood's own. Mark Kuchler and Glenn Hanson never left Bonny Doon after lightning sparked the fire complex that is now 78,000 acres.

Kuchler borrowed a friend’s old fire truck and went to work last Sunday filling up the hose and dousing flames in the area.

“We seemed to be the only piece of equipment that was up here for two days, which was kind of scary. I’ve never ran a fire engine or fought fire before,” Kuchler said.

Mark took us to several homes that he saved late last week.

“This whole side was engulfed in fire racing towards to the house. The only thing we could do was lay water all the way across here back and forth back,” Kuchler said.

At another home we checked on, a neighbor thanked Kuchler for saving their home.

“I feel proud of myself. That really makes me happy some people get to go home. To see someone lose the home they love and have their whole live wrapped up into is probably the most tragic thing that could probably happen,” Kuchler said.

However, law enforcement said it is a bad idea to stay and try to save your own home.

six people have been rescued, because they became trapped after trying to save their home.

A 73-year-old Davenport man, Tad Jones, was killed in the fire when he was trying to evacuate.

45,000 Santa Cruz County residents have been evacuated.

There are hard road closures everywhere west of Highway 17. When you exit Mt. Hermon road there is a police checkpoint.

Two people were arrested Monday for coming into the evacuation area when they did not live in the San Lorenzo Valley. Another resident was cited for coming back into the area.

Kuchler said it was worth it to stay, because he saved at least 10 of his neighbors homes.

“It’s overwhelming, but it's pretty amazing what a few guys can do with a piece of equipment,” Kuchler said.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Drew Andre

Drew Andre is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.


KION 46 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content