‘Before there were any superheroes out there there was my dad’: Family mourns man killed in KC house fire

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Kansas City family is mourning the loss of a loved one, and their home, after a deadly fire last Friday.

"Before there were any superheroes out there there was my dad, and it's always going to be my dad," Woody Coburn said.

Coburn and his family can't believe their father is gone. On Friday, he got the news his dad, 65-year-old Victor Coburn died. Unable to escape a fire in his home.

Coburn left behind his wife of nearly 50 years, and three sons. His youngest son is getting ready to have his first child.

He was a carpenter by trade for many years, and his son says he dedicated his life to beautifying Kansas City in any way he could.

"My dad was a phenomenal man," Coburn said.

Fire officials say it started around 1 p.m. in the upstairs of the home. Jose Torres, and ,Christopher Larson, were driving by and saw the smoke. Torres grabbed his ladder, punched out the wooden posts of the upper porch, and tried to pull Coburn out of his window.

"For my dad, seeing Jose, it was a stranger to him so he was scared to come to him," Coburn said. "By the time he saw a familiar face, which was my baby brother, it was too late."

His son said Victor suffered from a brain tumor and cancer that spread in his body. It frequently made his father confused about his surroundings, and it was difficult for his father to understand situations quickly. He said he is incredibly thankful to Torres, Larson, the KCMO Fire Department, and everyone who tried to help his dad that day.

"He stopped what he was doing, put his life on pause, to go and help someone else's life - if that's not the definition of a hero...," Coburn said. "It says that there is no greater sacrifice than when you sacrifice yourself for another. I heard that he was willing to sacrifice himself to the point where he got burnt."

Coburn said now the rest of his family needs help. His mother is left without a home, and costs are mounting for their father's unexpected funeral.

"Something that could at least heal her a little bit more," Coburn said. "It's going to be forever because that's a great loss, but you don't want her to lose everything. It can't always be a cloudy day. That's what he used to say. It can't always be nighttime. At some point the sun will rise again."

The fire department hasn't released a cause of the fire yet, but investigators stressed the importance of working smoke detectors in all homes. If you need a smoke alarm for your home the Red Cross can help here.

If you would like to help this family in their time of need you can assist them through their Gofundme.

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