(02/19/13) - Family and friends are remembering 84-year-old Lawrence Prevo.
The elderly man died early Tuesday morning when his Genesee Township home went up in his flames.
Fire crews had a difficult time getting the flames under control because of strong winds and the way the home's roof was built. Investigators say the fire started in the attic - essentially, a chimney fire.
Lawrence's wife and daughter escaped, but suffered serious burns. Patricia Prevo, the wife of the victim, is being treated for burns to her back. Their daughter is recovering from burns to her hands.
The Prevo's have lived in the 4000 block of Mollwood for decades. They raised seven kids in this home.
Lawrence Prevo left a lasting legacy in many ways.
"He was always very funny, very comical, always had a smile on his face even in his old age," said Jamie Prevo, Lawrence's grandson.
There was no one quite like Jamie's grandfather.
"When I was a kid growing up, first thing about my grandfather is that he smoked cherry tobacco and I always remember opening up the pouches and smelling it because it smelled so good. He always bought us those orange circus peanuts and it's just things like that I will remember forever," he said.
It's those memories that will provide some comfort to a grieving family.
"We got our daughter up for school this morning and heard the daughter and wife screaming that there was a fire and that their dad was still inside," said Kristine Lewis, the Prevo's neighbor.
The Lewis's, who live next door, did what they could to save their neighbors.
"My husband kicked in the front door, he tried to go in, but the smoke was so overwhelming. He pulled Mrs. Prevo out here to the road, waiting for police and fire trucks to come," Kristine said.
Fred Prevo said his father will be greatly missed.
"He was a good man, he worked at Buick, worked in the Foundry, they called him 'pipe,' he smoked a pipe all the time," he said.
Fred said his dad never let health problems get the best of them.
"He still got around, picked up sticks in his yard all the time. He raised seven kids in this house, he took care of his family, went to church, went to Holy Rosary all the time," he said.
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