A Collin County deputy and his wife were killed in a Fannin County house fire early Sunday morning.
Deputy Richard Fields, 58, and his wife, Rebecca, died after the fire destroyed their home in rural Fannin County.
"They were wonderful people," nephew Jaime Shaw said. "Anyone who knew them knows how loving and caring they were."
Fields was a 15-year veteran at the Collin County Sheriff's Office. He was also involved in Fannin County politics.
"They never met a stranger," Shaw said. "They were so rare, and that's what made them so special."
Relatives said the couple celebrated a birthday with their children and grandchildren on Saturday night. The family had plans to attend church together the next morning.
Friends are rallying to support the couple's two adult sons and young man the Fields took into their home during his high school years.
"They all three need people to be here," longtime family friend Colten Kelso said.
Kelso described Fields as a father figure to the whole community.
"He would show up at the football games," he said. "He wasn't just cheering for his son, he was cheering for everyone who didn't have a dad. She ... always found joy in doing things for others. She touched a lot of people's hearts."
Family members also said the couple was strong in their faith.
Funeral arrangements are still pending.
Investigators haven't ruled on an official cause of the fire, but lightning from the strong storms that passed through on Saturday night and Sunday morning is suspected.