CEDAR HILL, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A prominent pastor and his wife have been identified as two of the three people found dead in a home that burned there early Thursday.
Eugene and DeAnna Keahey were well known in the community.
DeAnna once taught at Cedar Hill’s Plummer Elementary.
A third victim has yet to be identified. Police have said the fire is now a criminal investigation.
In spite of the fire that gutted the home, Cedar Hill Police have cautioned that it would be “inappropriate” to speculate on how any of the victims died.
There were three survivors. One person is hospitalized in critical condition. Police rescued two others from an upstairs window without serious injury.
Pastor Eugene Keahey was a former youth pastor at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas. He most recently pastored the Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Seagoville.
Pastor Keahey also ran a non-profit and had even been profiled on CBS 11 for his efforts to bring safe drinking water to the impoverished community of Sandbranch.
Despite the family’s efforts to help others, CBS 11 has learned that they were also dealing with severe financial struggles of their own. The family’s Cedar Hill home on Lovern had been sold at a foreclosure auction just last month.
“It’s just devastating because you think, ‘what could have happened and how could this happen to the three of them and one daughter is in critical’,” asked Leslie Newson, who admitted to still being stunned.
Newson says she has admired the Keahey family for years. DeAnna Keahey taught her sons in elementary school.
“They were helpful people,” recalls Newson. “They would help you, if you needed help. They would have.”
The investigation is ongoing.