Coworkers, friends remember victim of fatal North Grand Avenue fire

Chris Anderson worked for Goodwill of East Texas for 20 years

Coworkers, friends remember victim of fatal North Grand Avenue fire

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Coworkers turned friends are remembering a victim of a Tyler house fire.

Chris Anderson worked for Goodwill Industries of East Texas for two decades. He died following a house fire on North Grand Avenue.

Those that worked with Chris describe him as a quintessential cowboy.

Anderson died following a house fire on North Grand Avenue in Tyler.
Anderson died following a house fire on North Grand Avenue in Tyler.

"He just loved animals and loved to wear his cowboy hat,” says Ruth Davis Goodwill Director of Commercial services. “So, we called him Cowboy Chris."

Chris did have a disability, but managers say it was not a hindrance to him. He worked in the company’s packaging and assembly field and those who worked with him say for Chris it was more than just a job.

“Chris lived every day with joy and purpose,” says Kimberly Lewis, Goodwill East Texas President, and CEO. “It truly is a family we have at Goodwill and Chris was a main pinnacle of that family.”

On Wednesday, Chris' Goodwill family, invited his biological family to a memorial in his honor. Many dressed in traditional cowboy fashion. Those that worked with him sharing kind words and fond memories.

“He had one of our consumers that he would make lunch for every day and always make sure that he had a plate full of food if we had a potluck meal,” says Davis.

The news of Chris' tragic death is still hard for his coworkers to accept.

"To think of Chris running into a home to save his family,” says Lewis. “That's Chris, he took care of everybody before he took care of himself."

One thing bringing the group comfort now is that Chris will ‘always be a part of goodwill.’

Two of Anderson’s family members also died in that fire- his mother Sharon Anderson and a 22-month-old girl.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Copyright 2019 KLTV. All rights reserved.