Family of Covert trailer fire victim grieving loss of loved one

Family of Covert trailer fire victim grieving loss of Jerry Rawson. (WWMT/Courtesy Heather Rawson)

The family of a Covert man say they believe the 75-year-old saved his beloved pit bull before dying after trying to escape his burning home.

Jerry Rawson was locate outside his burning home at 29620 76th street in Covert Township at 7 a.m. Friday by a person police said was driving by on their way to work.

Police said emergency crews found Rawson unresponsive outside a window of his home. They immediately attempted CPR, but he was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

Rawson's daughter, Heather, said her father was in the home with Kong, his pit bull. The dog survived and is now at her home.

"When we got there the dog was wandering around, just kind of didn't know where to go," she said. "I almost think that maybe he threw the dog out the window and then threw himself out the window, you know, like made sure the dog made it."

Heather said her dad was a great man. She said he was tough, blunt, honest, and overall compassionate.

“My dad loved everybody and would do anything for anybody," Heather said.

She remembers several occasion growing up where she and her siblings would be out with Rawson. She said they would come across complete strangers who needed rides, and without hesitation Rawson would tell those strangers to hop in the car so he could get them home.

Heather said is was his big heart that made Jerry so loved in his community.

"Makes me feel good that my dad had such a good impact on everybody around the community, and that makes me proud," she said.

Covert Township Police Chief Jay Allen said investigators are still piecing things together, but so far they believe Rawson had a portable propane space heater in his bedroom. They believe that space heater was the sole source of heat in the home, and was likely the cause of the fire.

Heather said losing her dad in such a sudden fashion has opened her eyes.

"You should be calling everybody that you love and you should be telling them that you love them because tomorrow is not promised by any means," she said.

Funeral arrangements are still being made. The family said Rawson did not have insurance. They have created a GoFundMe page to help pay for his final expenses.

Police said authorities are waiting for the results of an autopsy to determine the exact cause of Rawson's death.

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