FOX ISLAND, Wash. — Gig Harbor fire crews on Friday recovered the body of Dr. Thomas Babson, 62, from his burned Fox Island home, one day after the body of his 8-year-old daughter was found in the house.
Thursday recovered the body of an 8-year-old girl killed in a house fire. Her father, 62-year-old Thomas Babson, was presumed dead but his body had not been located yet.
“I talked to the lieutenant who was one of the first who went inside and he described it as a jet of fire inside the building. They only got inside the front door a few feet and basically our water streams were just being devoured by the fire,” said Gig Harbor Fire Division Chief Eric Waters.
Inside the home was a family of five — Babson, his wife, their 12-year-old daughter and 8-year-old twins.
Neighbor Glen Garnett heard Babson’s wife screaming outside and ran across the street as another neighbor was pulling the couple’s 8-year-old boy out of the home.
“The mother was in complete shock at the time. She wasn’t sure what was going on. The little boy was limp as a noodle when we brought him out. He was unresponsive and covered in soot,” said Garnett.
Babson, an emergency room physician and reserve Pierce County sheriff’s deputy, was still inside with his 8-year-old daughter.
By midday Thursday, the fire department brought in an excavator to help find Babson and his little girl.
Neighbor Jeannette Coil said the girl would come to her home to play with her labrador service dog and take him to church with her. She also enjoyed picking apples and helping babysit younger kids in the neighborhood.
David Holsinger has been neighbors and friends with the Babsons for 13 years. They hunted, and sailed in the local yacht club together.
“We lost someone dedicated to his country, his community. It’s a sad day for that family and this neighborhood that we lost a true hero,” said Holsinger.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.
Volunteers are collecting donations for the surviving members of the family. Clothing, toiletries and gift cards can been mailed or dropped off at the Pierce County Sheriff Department’s Peninsula Office at 6006 133rd St NW, Gig Harbor, WA 98332.
Also, a memorial fund has been set up at Chase Bank to help the family. It is called the Babson Memorial Fund and donations can be made at any branch. A request was made to not send flowers, but to make a donation instead.