Epperson had contributed to Morning News, Q-Texas
An Oak Lawn writer and artist died in a suspected flash fire in his apartment’s kitchen on Friday, Oct. 19.
Larry Todd Epperson, 45, who lived in the 2700 block of Welborn Street, apparently discovered smoke coming from inside his pantry and was engulfed in flames when he opened the door in an attempt to put a trash fire out, according to his sister who was interviewed by telephone at her mother’s home in Oklahoma.
“His neighbors said it was very quick,” Christy Race said. “They saw him outside walking his dog, and 20 minutes later they saw the firefighters taking him outside.”
Race said she suspects an influx of oxygen into the pantry caused the fire to engulf Epperson when he opened the door. The medical examiner attributed the cause of death to burns and smoke inhalation.
The fire burned the kitchen and hallway of the two-story apartment and filled the second floor with smoke, Race said.
Firefighters responding to the neighbors’ concerns found Epperson’s dog and cat huddled upstairs together in the bedding, Race said.
“I don’t know how they found them there,” said Race, who took possession of her brother’s dog and gave the cat to a friend of his.
Epperson, who lived alone, was senior art director for J.C. Penney Co. in Plano. He also was a freelance writer, contributing to The Dallas Morning News. He also formerly wrote for Q-Texas, a now-defunct gay magazine.
“He was a very good writer,” said Race, who noted her brother had been a freelance writer for a variety of publications.
Dallas Morning News arts editor Leslie Snyder said Epperson had written restaurant reviews for the newspaper’s Guide section.
Race called her brother “inspiring and loyal” to his family and friends.
Epperson was buried in his hometown of Coalgate, Okla., on Oct. 23.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 26, 2007