Family mourns Korean War vet killed in Forsyth fire

by: Mike Petchenik Updated:

Allen "Dean" Boyd, 78, succumbed to injuries Tuesday morning at Grady Memorial Hospital's burn unit.
FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. —

The family of a Forsyth County man killed in an apartment fire Monday said he was a decorated Korean War veteran with a big heart.

Allen "Dean" Boyd, 78, succumbed to injuries Tuesday morning at Grady Memorial Hospital's burn unit after investigators said he became trapped in his apartment on Nancy Lane in Cumming.

"He's (going to) be missed by a lot of people," said his son, Allen Boyd. "It's hard to bear how his life tragically, horribly, ended in a fire."

Boyd said his father served in the Korean War and he showed Channel 2's Mike Petchenik pictures of Gen. Douglas MacArthur honoring his heroics. Boyd said his father would later lose his legs and be confined to a wheelchair. He said when the fire broke out, his own son heard the alarms and attempted to rescue his grandfather.

"They broke the door in and my son tried to get to my dad in the back bedroom, and the smoke was so full that he couldn't get in," he said.

By the time firefighters could get into the apartment, they said Boyd was in bad shape, having suffered severe burns and smoke inhalation.

"They thought they had him stabilized, but critical," said Boyd. "Then, this morning, it was more than his body could bear."

Officials told Petchenik they are still investigating what sparked the fire.

"I'm confident it was accidental in nature," said Division Chief Jason Shivers. "There's no reason to believe it's anything suspicious whatsoever."

Shivers said a firefighter was injured during the rescue, but was released from the hospital and is back to work.

Meantime, Boyd's son said he plans to honor his memory every chance he gets.

"It's unbearable to think of how he left, but we're (going to) focus, just how he'd want us to, on how he impacted our lives," he said.