Man Dies In Fire Trying To Save Woman, Toddler

"He Put Everyone Before Himself"

WASHINGTON CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) A southern Utah man died and a woman and toddler are in critical condition after a massive trailer home fire in Washington City.
 
Friends of Richard Kirkland said he went inside the burning trailer to rescue others and ended up losing his life. 
 
"[The fire] was huge," said neighbor Shannon Wilkes. "It went way past the trees. It was bad. You could tell the trailer wasn't going to make it."
 
On Monday night, a woman and three-year-old girl were trapped behind the raging fire on the 400 block of East Angie Lane. 
 
"Everybody was in the street, coming out. People were trying to grab hoses and buckets of water," Wilkes said. 
 
When 60-year-old Kirkland learned there were people inside, friends say he rushed to the trailer to rescue them. 
 
"He put everybody before himself," Lane Stromberg said. "He was fearless going through that window. That's Richard." 
 
The woman and child were rescued by emergency responders, before being flown in critical condition to University Medical Center in Las Vegas. 
 
Kirkland died at Dixie Regional Hospital. 
 
For more than 13 years, he was a manager at St. Helen's Restaurant, becoming very close to owners Lane and Helen Stromberg. 
 
The friends say Kirkland's heroic act was characteristic of who he was, giving all he had to help others. He loved children and making other people happy. 
 
"He was one of a kind. He was one of the greatest people I know and he's going to be missed by everyone," Helen Stromberg said. 
 
"Obviously our thoughts and prayers are with the families and with the victims at this time," Washington City Police Department PIO Ed Kantor said. 
 
Police have not released the victims' names. The fire is part of an ongoing investigation. 

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