Monday, February 11, 2013
Collin County deputy died in house fire
Investigators believe lightning struck the home.
The Collin County Sheriff's office believes that longtime sheriff's Deputy Richard Fields and his wife, Rebecca, died in a fire at their rural Fannin County home early Sunday morning.
Around 2 a.m., Fannin County dispatch received a call from Fields' neighbor who said the Fields' house off Farm-to-Market (FM) 2990 was engulfed in flames, Fannin County Sheriff Donnie Foster said. Firefighters put out the blaze, but not before it burned nearly the entire house to the ground.
Authorities recovered the remains for two bodies, Foster said, but had not gotten a positive identification as of Monday morning. The home belonged to the Fields, though, which is why the Collin County Deputies Association released a statement on Facebook soon after the fire, saying, "Sad to report that one of our members has passed away. Collin County Deputy Sheriff Richard Fields and his wife lost their lives in their home last night."
"He lived there, and he's not at work today, so we reasonably believe it was him," Lt. John Norton of the Collin County Sheriff's office said Monday morning. "We're 99 percent sure."
The state fire marshal is aiding Fannin County authorities in investigating the fire. Foster said Monday that they had not yet determined a cause, but believe it was "possibly lightning."
Fields, 58, and his wife had been married 38 years. He joined the Collin County Sheriff's office as a deputy in 1994, and recently worked as a resource officer for the juvenile detention center.
The Lubbock native ran for Fannin County sheriff in 2011, coming in second to Foster, who had been appointed sheriff by the Fannin County Commissioners Court after the previous sheriff retired earlier in the year.
Fields told the McKinney Courier-Gazette in November 2011 that "Collin County has the best-managed sheriff's department anywhere," and expressed his admiration for Collin County Sheriff Terry Box.
"He was a very friendly guy - hard-working, reliable, and dependable as could be," Box told News 8 on Sunday evening. "Everybody loved him."
Fields has two sons, Jeremy and Micah, both of whom live in Fannin County.
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