Sabine Co. father copes with losing adult son in house fire

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

SABINE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) – Billy Joe Ebarb, 40, grew up in rural Sabine County. He lived in an older mobile home, aluminum wiring ran throughout. Investigators believe that's what sparked the fire that killed him.

"As you can see it's melted and it's also very brittle which tells you there was an electrical shortage and that's where the fire started at," said Tom Maddox, Sabine County Sheriff.

For Billy Joe's father, the last two days have been tough.

"Nobody ever figures you're going to bury your children," said Joseph Ebarb, victim's father. "You figure your children are going to bury you."

It is a harsh reality for a life that ended too soon. "He was the baby," said Ebarb. "I thought the world of him. Everybody said the older he got he acted like me. I don't know if he did or not."

Boxes of photographs lined the outside of the home Sunday morning. Family members poured over memories of happier times. Billy Joe's father said the salvaged photographs will help the family get through this Christmas.

"It won't be the same because he won't be there or nothing," he said.

Though cut short, Ebarb feels his son's life will have a lasting impact.

"He was my only son," he said. "Nothing can replace him."

Due to the colder weather, investigators expect this won't be the only East Texas fire fatality. The Ebarb family will put Billy Joe to rest Monday afternoon.

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