A former Kentucky appeals court judge and gubernatorial candidate reportedly died on Thursday, Oct. 20, in a house fire after saving his wife.

He was identified as Tom Emberton who allegedly rescued his wife when their home caught fire at around 3:30 a.m. on Thursday. However, after saving his wife, the 90-year-old also tried to save their home from the blaze.

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

It was added that Emberton ran for governor of Kentucky in 1971. He was appointed to the Kentucky Court of Appeals in 1987.

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

Emberton was re-elected to the Court of Appeals twice and served as chief judge of the appellate court until he retired in 2004, according to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who was part of Emberton’s gubernatorial campaign.

“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,” McConnell said in a statement. “He taught me valuable lessons on public service and running as a statewide Republican in Kentucky.”

Emberton leaves behind his wife, Julia, someone to who he has been married for 65 years. They also have two children (Laura Emberton Owens and Tom Emberton Jr.) and five grandchildren.

Emberton allegedly enrolled at Western Kentucky University l after a four-year tour of duty with the United States Air Force. When he graduated, Emberton was accepted to the University of Louisville School of Law in 1959.

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