Man described as 'loving father' killed in fire

Published: Apr. 3, 2016 at 11:26 PM MST|Updated: Apr. 4, 2016 at 4:18 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Alberto Santa Cruz, the man who died in a mobile-home fire south of Tucson early Saturday, April 2, is described as a loving father by Tabitha Beech.

Beech, the mother of three of his children, said she heard about the death of Santa Cruz on the news that night.

Beech said she drove from her home in Douglas to Tucson on Saturday morning, still unable to comprehend what happened.

"I ended up calling his mother's phone and blowing it up. Just trying to figure out what's going on, and they told me it was him. That he went back into the house," Beech said.

Two people and a dog were able to escape from the home when the blaze broke out. Santa Cruz, along with six dogs, a bird and a cat died in the home. 
Beech said she's now left with the difficult task of helping their three girls understand where their father is.

"I explained it to my oldest and she kind of gets it. Especially when I told her her dad would be looking down on her with the stars, and she gets it," Beech said.

Beech said Santa Cruz was a loving father, taken far too soon.

"He still had many, many more years to go. So he'll be definitely, truly missed," Beech said.

Beech said she lost some of her belongings in the fire, along with her children's toys. The Pima County Sheriff's Department is still investigating the cause of the fire. They said the fire appears to be accidental.

Previous story: Early morning fire kills man south of Tucson

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