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'Yancy had a big heart': Man remembers brother who drowned in Jackson County Park dock fire

His brother described the Dock B family as a community.

Posted: Jan 30, 2020 6:37 PM
Updated: Jan 30, 2020 7:24 PM

The brother of the man who drowned and died in the deadly Jackson County Park fire talked to WAAY 31 about his older brother.

Yancy Roper's brother said Yancy drowned trying to get away from the burning dock during Monday's fire.

Courtesy: Tommy Jones

Tommy Jones said during the past 6 weeks, Yancy was staying out here on the water with him, and said he's thankful his brother was a part of this dock family.

He said all of Dock B is mourning the loss of 8 of their loves ones.

'You can't walk down the dock without talking to each other and mingling. They were up there by us or we were down there. We're just a big family on these piers. It's not like these people lost their children. It's like we all lost our children cause they all were together," Jones said.

Jones said he knew all eight of the victims that lost their life and they were all like family to each other.

He said the last time he saw his brother was when they went to jump off a boat in the middle of the water because a burning boat was coming toward it.

Tommy said he swam from far out in the water all the way to shore, and he learned later Monday morning his brother, Yancy, did not make it but had drowned. Now, he wants everyone to know more about Yancy, who he said died trying to the save lives of others in their dock family.

"Yancy had a big heart. He loved everybody he worked hard and he cared. He really did. He actually helped get the children on the boat, and we pushed the boat out and then we went and pushed our boat out," he said.

The family said right now they are working to figure out how they will bury Yancy because he didn't have any type of insurance policy to cover his untimely death.

Jones said they're thankful for those who have reached out and donated money to help them pay for his burial. If you want to help, click here.

Jones told me he plans to move back on Dock B if and when it's rebuilt. Right now, the park and county haven't made any announcement about the future of Dock B.

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