Couple remain in comas following Peoria home explosion

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by Jared Dillingham

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azfamily.com

Posted on October 21, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 29 at 8:29 AM

PEORIA, Ariz.--- The couple who narrowly escaped a home explosion in Peoria remain in comas at Maricopa Medical Center's Arizona Burn Center.

The mothers of 21-year-old Tiara Del Rio and 32-year-old Beau Zimbro say their children were unrecognizable at first.

"I was trying to look for something to tell me it was my daughter," Christina Del Rio said.

Her daughter was lighting a candle at the home near 79th Avenue and Cactus Road Wednesday night and it sparked the explosion. A gas line, which ruptured during renovations, is likely to blame.

"Her son saved my daughter's life. They were both on fire and he carried her out of the house," Del Rio added, pointing to Zimbro's mother, Marie.

Marie Zimbro said her son is "a good kid" and that the two families, who had never met before, have now bonded over the tragedy.

Tiara Del Rio's brother, Ryan Lewis-Turk, was deployed, serving in the Middle East, when he got the news. He said the Air Force worked with the Red Cross to bring him home to Arizona to be with his family.

Lewis-Turk went right to the hospital to thank Zimbro for saving his sister's life.

"Without him, she would have been gone," he said.

While neither victim has been able to move or speak, Del Rio's brother said he sees signs, which show him she knows he is by her side.

"I watch the monitors and see her heart rate beat faster. I took that as a sign she knew I was here," he said.

Doctors say burns cover 60 percent of Zimbro's body and 53 percent of Del Rio's body. They both remain on ventilators and will stay in medically induced comas for another four or five days.

Dr. Kevin Foster, medical director at the Arizona Burn Unit, expects both to make full recoveries, aside from scars.

"The good news is that most of the time people get better and become the people they were before," Foster said.

The families are accepting donations at their website: www.donationto.com/Tiara-Del-Rio-Donation.
 

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