by: Richard Thompson Updated:
FOX ISLAND, Wash. - At 3:20 p.m. on Friday, firefighters located the body of Dr. Thomas Babson inside the burned remains of his Fox Island Home. The effort to find and recover his body had been slow and painstaking, hampered by freezing temperatures. Gig Harbor Fire Chief Eric Waters said, "Our hose lines are frozen, so we're having to replace that. And essentially the entire scene has a coating of ice on it."
Babson, who was an ER doctor and reserve Pierce County deputy, died Wednesday along with his 8-year-old daughter, Alice, when fire engulfed their Fox Island home.
His wife, June, and another daughter, 12-year-old Katie, managed to escape. A neighbor ran into the house to save 8-year-old Toby. Neighbor Theresa Creatura spoke with that hero.
"I think he said he went in there twice, and had to crawl, felt an arm and grabbed it," said Creatura.
See photos of the search here.
Friday night, a large motorcade of Pierce County sheriff's deputies escorted Dr. Babson's body from his home. Friends also gathered at St. Nicholas Catholic School for a prayer vigil. Alice, known as Allie, was a student at the school, and teachers fought back tears as they shared stories about the family. Theresa Creatura says the deadly fire has everyone in the community appreciating their own blessings.
She told KIRO 7, "I've been up since 3 a.m., and sent an email off to my family members saying this tragedy had happened, and let's always remember what's important here: Family, friends and community."
Fire crews will return to the Fox Island home on Saturday to begin investigating the cause of the fire.