"[It] really has opened old wounds;" families relive pain ahead of Taylor's release
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Cory Marshall
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The Pioneer Hotel fire is something Paul d'Hedouville II and his family don't usually discuss. For the last four decades, they have avoided talking about the fire that killed his father and namesake, because it was too painful.
"To now have it [be] a prominent story once again, [it] has really opened old wounds," d'Hedouville said.
To fully grasp d'Hedouville's loss, you have to go back to that fateful December night in 1970.
d'Hedouville's father was staying in the Pioneer Hotel on business. He says the rest of his family was planning to fly to Tucson for Christmas.
Plans changed when d'Hedouville's then three-month-old brother got sick and couldn't travel.
"During the fire, they found that he had Christmas presents in his room," d'Hedouville told 9OYS. "So we were very much suppose to be traveling there."
Still hoping his family would make it out, d'Hedouville's father moved up a few floors to a larger room. He says because he was higher up, firefighters couldn't get to him. He died in his sleep.
"What comes to mind is sadness." said Paul d'Hedouville II. "He's a person who was supposed to be very influential in my life but was taken away."