Fresno County Sheriff's deputies share last words of inmate who dies after explosion

Watch the video for extended coverage from Action News reporter Sontaya Rose
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A family from Sanger is grieving the loss of a husband and father of nine, who died from complications after an explosion at the Fresno County Peace Officers Gun Range in Northwest Fresno.

Jeremiah Espino, 52, died 25 days after his daughters say he was burned on over 80 percent of his body. Espino was one of several inmates who was working at the range and injured in the blast. His family said they were never able to talk with him, but the sheriff's deputies who rushed to his aid, did share his final words.

"We thank them so much for giving us those last words that my dad spoke to them. They're super-heroes," said Espino's daughters, who did not want to be identified.

Deputies held his hand while, his daughter's said, he told them he did not want to die -- while expressing his last wishes.

To get closure they felt they needed, last week family members visited the Fresno County Peace Officer's gun range where Espino was working as an inmate when the explosion happened. According to witnesses, he ran as far away as he could despite major burns.

Family members also said they feel so grateful for the care Espino received in the burn unit from doctors and nurses. For now, their focus is on planning a beautiful funeral they say their dad deserves.

Several inmates have filed lawsuits against PG&E and claims for damages against Fresno County. Currently Espino's family is not part of any lawsuit.

PG&E issued a statement saying in part, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased and with the others injured in the incident."

For now, his children said their focus is on remembering the good times with their dad and planning a beautiful funeral to honor him.

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