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Neighbor recalls helping burn victim during trailer fire that took life of 83-year-old

Posted at 9:36 PM, May 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-22 23:46:17-04

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah - A fatal fire in Brigham City was believed by police to be sparked by a cigarette close to an oxygen tank.

Tuesday morning the fire claimed the life of 83-year-old Kenneth Beach. His50-year-old son escaped the home with severe burns, and he’s being treated at the University of Utah Hospital. He has second-degree burns on 35-40 percent of his body.

“I've never dealt with anything like that before in my life and I hope I never have to do that again,” said Tamara Agee, one of the Beach’s neighbors.

A charred wheelchair and a burnt air tank are both almost unrecognizable but they're all that's left of the small Brigham City home.

“I’ve been crying all day about it,” Agee said. “It still bothers me now, it’s probably going to bother me the rest of my life.

Agee lives two doors down from the trailer home that's now taped off. It was just after 8:45 Tuesday morning when:

“I noticed a real strong smell of smoke,” Agee said.

She looked outside to see flames engulfing a trailer home, and as the fire grew, Agee watched a man crawl out onto the pavement.

“I thought he was going to die,” Agee said. “His hair was on fire, his hands were burnt, his face was burnt, his clothing was ripping off him.”

Agee said she got him away from the home and grabbed her garden hose to spray him off.

“I was honestly in panic mode,” Agee said.

She said the man takes care of his father, who is bound to a wheelchair, and while she waited for fire crews to get there, the man was worried about his dad trapped inside.

“He was very emotional and just... it was hard for him.. it was very hard,” Agee said.

When crews got the flames under control the man was flown to the hospital. Now the Brigham City trailer home is a total loss, and Agee is struggling with the loss of her neighbor.

“I can't stop thinking about it, I can't,” Agee said.

Investigators say it will take weeks to determine the exact cause of the fire but at this time they believe it has to do with smoking near an oxygen tank, and police do not consider it suspicious. The Beach Family is asking for privacy at this time. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family during this time.