Churchgoers Attend 1st Service Since House Fire That Killed Pastor, Family - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Churchgoers Attend 1st Service Since House Fire That Killed Pastor, Family

"We're heartbroken, but we just have to press on"

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    Churchgoers Attend 1st Service Since Fire That Killed Pastor

    Members of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Sandbranch attended their first service Sunday without their pastor, who died in a house fire Thursday in Cedar Hill. (Published Sunday, March 3, 2019)

    Members of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Sandbranch attended their first service Sunday without their pastor, Eugene Keahey, who was killed in a house fire Thursday in Cedar Hill.

    Keahey, his wife Deanna, and 15-year-old daughter Camryn, all died when their house in Cedar Hill caught fire at about 4:30 a.m. Thursday.

    "Part of me has been dreading this all week," Mount Zion Baptist Church music director Maurice Hale said. "It's taken a lot of courage to come out for this, but this is what pastor would have wanted us to do."

    Hale said Keahey spent more time in the Sandbranch community than he did where he lived, in Cedar Hill.

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    "We're heartbroken, but we just have to press on," he said.

    Jessica Garcia said she had only attended Mount Zion Baptist Church for about two weeks, but came out to pay her respects to Keahey.

    "He was a very welcoming guy. He was very sweet," Garcia said.

    Keahey served at Antioch Fellowship Baptist Church in Dallas before moving to Mount Zion Baptist.

    The fire that killed Keahey, his wife and daughter, is the focus of a criminal investigation, though Cedar Hill police said they had no reason to suspect an intruder.

    Investigators with the State Fire Marshall's office were on scene early Friday with an accelerant-detecting K9, searching the home's interior and exterior for possible signs of foul play. Crime scene tape remained up around the home, because a neighbor reported possible gunfire before the flames erupted.

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