MESQUITE (CBSNewTexas.com) - When smoke detectors started blaring in the middle of the night inside a Mesquite home, a family rushed out of the burning house only to realize one person wasn't with them.
Troy Graham, 57, was killed in the early morning fire on Crestridge Drive Saturday. Graham's sister said he rushed his son and daughter and wife safely outside, but the last they heard from him was that he couldn't breathe, and he didn't make it out.
The Mesquite Fire Department determined the cause of the fire to be accidental. Family members thought it may have been an electrical problem.
Tracy Graham, Troy's younger sister who lives just a couple blocks away, said she got to the house in time to see it still burning. She initially thought it was just material things that could be replaced, until she noticed her brother wasn't outside.
"I thought he was probably over here with the fireman, trying to help, cause that's just the kinda guy he was," she said.
Tracy said her brother will be missed beyond just their immediate family. An employee of TxDOT, she said he would also work every year at the State Fair of Texas; was a relied upon volunteer at the Mesquite Church of Christ; worked on the sideline at school football games; and loved to barbecue, hunt, watch racing basketball and baseball.
A white cross was in the yard with his name on it Tuesday, where the family held a small private memorial, ahead of funeral services planned for Friday.
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