Former Kentucky judge Tom Emberton dies in house fire

Former Kentucky Court of Appeals Judge Tom Emberton died on Thursday during a house fire.

Emberton reportedly rescued his wife and lost his life attempting to rescue their home.

A hero

“He heroically rescued his wife and got her to safety. Then he went back in to save his home and lost his life,” said Edmonton Mayor, Doug Smith.

“Tom was just the greatest guy in the world to be around. He was infectious to everybody,” Smith said. “He had a way about him that was really special,” he added.

His impact

“Elaine and I are heartbroken to learn of the tragic passing of our good friend Judge Tom Emberton. Tom gave me one of my earliest experiences in the rough and tumble reality of political campaigning, hiring me to work on his 1971 gubernatorial campaign,” Kentucky Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell wrote.

“He taught me valuable lessons on public service and running as a statewide Republican in Kentucky. Tom advocated for conservative values across our state and played a key role in organizing Kentucky Republicans at every level, paving the way for me and so many other conservatives to follow in his footsteps,” he added.

Emberton also served in the Air Force and was an attorney for Metcalfe County.

The cause of the fire remains unknown. An investigation is underway.

Emberton’s loss hits heavy in his home state as many mourn the loss of a longtime leader in Kentucky.