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Family remembers victim of RV blaze

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Dewey Randall Hawkins Dewey Randall Hawkins
NEW DIANA, TX (KLTV) -

A fire in Diana has taken the life of a 56-year-old East Texas man.

We spoke with some of the victim's family members, including a brother who is the Diana Fire Chief.

Dewey Randal Hankins was known as Randy to his family and friends, and he had a lot of them.

He was staying in an aluminum camper on his mother's property until Saturday, when it burned.

He and his little dog, Peanut, couldn't get out in time. Upshur County Fire Marshal Paul Steelman says the fire started near where Hankins was sitting.

"He was on oxygen and we may find that helped the fire burn. He had some physical issues that made it hard for him to get up and get around," said Steelman.

His brother, Diana Fire Chief Kenny Hankins, says Randy was an easy-going man who was compassionate about animals. A former track-hoe operator, he liked to fish. He'd go with family and friends when they went hunting, but he just couldn't shoot a deer. He would usually go as the cook.

"I got to thinking about Randy always calling me up and saying, hey, you ought to see all these deer out here," said Randy's sister Sharon Duffy who was talking to her older brother Kenny Hankins.

Duffy said Randy remembered everything and they would call him if they needed to know a movie title or name of a song. In his younger days, he was a rodeo bull rider, but later in life he preferred sitting by a campfire with friends.

The family says they will miss Randy and his jokes and his love for all kinds of life.

Upshur County Fire Marshall Paul Steelman says he hasn't determined the cause of the fire yet. Randy's body was sent off for an autopsy.

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