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Family Of Man Killed By Explosion Speaks Out

Reported by: Send eMail Katy Brown
Reported: Jun. 22, 2014 7:01 PM EDT
Updated: Jun. 23, 2014 5:10 PM EDT
Eyewitness News Photo
Eyewitness News Photo

Spencer , Roane County , West Virginia

The parents of Chuck Starcher are exclusively speaking out to Eyewitness News.

"He was into everything all the time. Just ran the hills and had all kinds of friends. He was something else," Debra Ellen Criner, Chuck's mother, said.

Chuck "Chuckie" Starcher Chuckie was just 24-years-old when he died tragically June 14, just four days after he suffered severe burns when a tank he was working on exploded.

"When the tank exploded it blew out the weakest point which was the bottom, then it blew crude oil, which is highly flammable, too, all over his body," Timothy Criner, Chuckie's stepfather, said. "This is third degree burns on 82 percent of his body, from his knees up."

The Roane County community immediately rallied around the family and sent in donations.

Their son was laid to rest in the family cemetery, and now flowers from the funeral lay on top of his grave.

"This is going to be the family cemetery. And it started a little earlier than I wanted it to," Timothy said.

Now with Chuckie home, the only thing missing is the registry from the funeral, which didn't make it back with their son - a book that means a lot to Debra.

"I was going to put all his stuff together, the clippings and everything so his son could have it so he'll know how his dad died," she said

Chuckie's 5-year-old son will now grow up without his father and with plenty of questions, but the little boy is not the only one searching for answers.

"Now I'm not pointing fingers at any individual. I want to know why this tanks were moved before they were cleaned. Until somebody does something about saving dollars instead of lives, than this is going to continue," Timothy said.

His goal is to prevent somebody else's son from suffering like Chuck.

Emergency responders said if you get a hold of a tank like the one in this story, do your homework on it's history to prevent another tragedy like this.

As for the registry, if you have any information you're asked to call police.



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