Kevin Sanders honored by family, 1st responders at Plainfield funeral

May 1, 2013 (PLAINFIELD, Ill.)

He was killed in the April 17th fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas.

"Kevin was a hero and right now, he's an Illinois hero … his family brought him home and we're going to give him full honors," said Larry Rauch, of the Frankfort Fire Department.

Sanders spent the last couple of years with the all volunteer Bruceville-Eddy Fire Department in West, Texas.

He was taking an EMT class when a fire started at the plant.

He was part of a group helping to evacuate nearby residents when the explosion happened.

Sanders leaves behind a wife and three-month-old son.

"When anybody goes out there to volunteer and put your life at risk, what better thing could you do?" said Larry Matkaitis, Illinois State Fire Marshall.

Before moving to Texas, Sanders worked for Plainfield's Emergency Management Agency for five years.

His passions included restoring his Dodge Charger, and Superman.

Christine Podobailo wore a t-shirt with the superhero's symbol as a way to pay tribute to Sanders.

She met him a few years ago at Fox College where he was teaching a few classes.

"He really knew how to help people. And if you struggled, he would give you the extra. He would send you an email if you were struggling. He would not let you quit," said Podobailo.

Sanders has been laid to rest in a Plainfield cemetery.

Copyright © 2023 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.