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Family remembers loved one a year after fatal refinery fire
TYLER COUNTY-By: Leslie Rangel
A family is remembering a loved one and pursuing a lawsuit against a refinery following an explosion and fire one year ago.
The fire at ExxonMobil in Beaumont burned a dozen workers.
Two men died from their burns, including Dustin Creekmore.
Creekmore's family shared their memories Thursday and talked about why they've joined in a lawsuit against ExxonMobil.
It's a cloudy day much like it was one year ago, April 17.
Outside their home in Warren, Dustin Creekmore's parents are tending to their son's memory garden.
Inside, the wounds are still fresh.
"It's a year today since I got the phone call and I've yet to go in his room," Deborah Creekmore said.
Dustin's father, Terry, sits quietly at a loss for words.
"We'll never get over this and they say time heals, not there yet," Creekmore says.
Dustin died ten days after the ExxonMobil plant fire in Beaumont.
"Wrong decisions were made that day, my son is no longer here to finish his dreams," Creekmore said.
The Creekmore family and workers injured in the fire, have filed a lawsuit against ExxonMobil.
The lawsuit claims the company knew of dangers and threats that resulted in the fire and explosion.
"They need to make better decisions, you have policies in place, you have procedures in place, this didn't have to happen, they know it and I know it," Terry Creekmore says.
"Because they cut corners, my son is not here," Creekmore said.
A son remembered for his smile and fighting spirit.
"We were more than just mother and son, Dustin was my best friend kind of like my protector, my security blanket," Creekmore says.
Deborah holds onto every memory
"This is his camo jacket and I sleep with it every night and it hasn't been washed since he passed and I sleep with it because it still smells like Dustin, it really does," Creekmore says.
A mother trying live life after her son's death.
"Sometimes I feel like I fail him because some days I just can't fight anymore," Creekmore said.
A grave marker is next to the only budding rosebush in Dustin's memory garden.
"I can hear him saying mom I'm good, you hang in there and you fight and you fight hard," Creekmore said.
Creekmore left behind two small children.
Chad McDonald is the other worker who died of his injuries.
McDonald left behind a young son.