CEDAR HILL, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A church community is still reeling after three people, including a prominent pastor and his wife, were found dead inside a Cedar Hill home that burned on Thursday.
Church member Ivory Hall knew Eugene Keahey for years and said the pastor regularly visited him and helped the community.
On Saturday, Hall remained in sadness over the death of his friend and pastor at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Seagoville.
“Whenever we needed him, he was here. He’d come around and sit around the patio with us here. He was that kind of a guy,” said Hall.
Keahey and his wife DeAnna, who were identified by the Dallas County Medical Examiner, were found dead inside a home in Cedar Hill after a fire. Police have said they are looking into the fire as a criminal investigation.
The third victim has not yet been officially identified. Police said on Thursday that it would be “inappropriate” to speculate on how any of the victims died.
Two other people inside the home at the time of the fire were rescued by Cedar Hill officers. Those officers used a patrol car as a ladder to help the two escape from an second-story window.
Hall remembered seeing Eugene a day or two before the fire.
“He brought some water around here. He said ‘you told me you need some gallon jugs. I got you some.’ He unloaded them himself…” said Hall.
CBS 11 profiled Eugene in 2016 on his efforts to bring safe drinking water to the impoverished community of Sandbranch.
“He’d walk the streets with people showing them about the community,” said Hall. “I just hope they find out exactly what happened. That is what I am waiting on.”
DeAnna also once taught at Cedar Hill’s Plummer Elementary.
CBS 11 learned on Frida that the Eugene and DeAnna Keahey were dealing with financial struggles of their own before their deaths. Their home in Cedar Hill had been sold at a foreclosure auction last month.