ROWAN COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky State Police are investigating the death of a Rowan County man. Police say Richard Jones, 52, died Wednesday night after an explosion on his front porch.
Police say Jones' oxygen tank exploded. Investigators say preliminary information indicates Jones was smoking a cigarette at the time. His family tells us he has had three prior explosions at his home for the same reason, but this one was different because it killed him.
"He's gone, and I'll never see him again," said Addie Parker, Jones' sister. "And I'll miss him."
We are told the mobile home on Lambert Hollow Road in the Clearfield community went up in flames. State police say someone passing through noticed the fire and ran to get help from a neighbor who happened to be Jones' sister and her husband, Brent Parker. They live on Lambert Hollow Road just three doors down from Jones.
"There was really nothing anybody could do as far as how bad his injuries were or anything like that," said Brent Parker, the victim's brother-in-law. "His clothes were still smoldering. What he had left was. He was trying to put the fire out."
That's when Jones' brother-in-law found him unresponsive on his porch and had to extinguish flames on Jones' body. The family says they are shocked that Jones is dead but not how he died. They'd always told him not to smoke around his oxygen tank.
"He didn't want help. I offered to get help, but he didn't want help. You can't help nobody if they don't want to help themselves," said his sister.
State police tell us Jones was pronounced dead at St. Claire Regional Medical Center.
The family says Jones' funeral arrangements are pending at this time.