Neighbors tried to help at scene

As a fire burned a CR 29 home and a stand-off between law enforcement and one of its residents ensued Thursday afternoon, neighbors watched the events unfold.

Sharon Fuchs, a next-door neighbor of 72-year-old Lloyd Hicks, said she tried to help Hicks before law enforcement arrived.

Fuchs said she saw the house on fire and flames coming out of the windows, and also saw Hicks sitting by the picnic tables behind his residence. She ran over and told him the house was on fire, but he told her to leave, she said.

She said she then ran to another neighbor and told them to make sure the fire department knew of the fire.

As Fuchs stood in her yard and watched the house burn, law enforcement arrived and the stand-off began.

Eugene Stockmaster, who lives a few miles south of the scene, said he saw the smoke, headed to the scene and erected a road-closed sign. He said the smoke was heavy, and he thought someone was burning tires.

“The whole house was on fire,” he said. “It was a beautiful home, beautiful. He kept the place up really nice.”

Stockmaster, standing near where the house had stood, said he could not believe it.

“Why would you do something like that?” he wondered.

“This stuff doesn’t happen in Bellevue,” Fuchs said.

She said Hicks and his wife had lived at the residence for 12 years and that the one-story residence was beautiful.

“It was a beautiful house full of antiques and full of coins,” she said.

She also said the couple was nice and that the incident was unexpected.

“She was such a nice lady,” Fuchs said.

Fuchs said Thursday afternoon that she was taking care of the Hicks’ dog, a Rottweiler, following the fire.

– Online Editor Jill Gosche contributed to this article.