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Firefighter dies while saving family

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A former volunteer firefighter who rushed into his burning home to save his family was killed Friday in Llano County.

Charred bunker gear, a motorcycle and ash are all that remains of the Sanderson family's mobile home in Tow after a fire broke out Friday afternoon. The fire which spread quickly took the life of former Tow volunteer firefighter, Ronald Sanderson.

Those who knew Sanderson say it's that selfless way of living that led to his death. Sanderson was outside of his home and his family was inside when a fire broke out. Sanderson tried to rush in and save his family, but became trapped.

"They went out the backdoor while he came in the front door while thinking they were still in and just never made it out," said Assistant Fire Chief Price Taylor.

According fire chief, Josh Becker, the cause of how the fire started remains undetermined. There are unconfirmed reports that Sanderson was burning trash in his yard and that may have led to the structure fire. However, Becker says his department and the state fire marshal found no evidence to support that theory.

"I was talking to the fire marshal last night at the scene when he finally decided it was undetermined and whatever the cause doesn't change the end result. It doesn't really matter what happened," said Becker.

Taylor says Sanderson who had been with the department for 10 years had taken a break, but was preparing to reenlist at the time of his death. Both men say Sanderson's death is a big loss to the community.

"Member or not he was still one of us," said Becker.

"He was a golden guy and he'll be missed very well by many people around here," said Taylor.

Sanderson's wife and children were not injured, but are in need of monetary donations and clothing as they have nothing left. If you would like to help out call 325-423-2466.

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