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Ohio Pastor Dies Trying To Save Two Sons From House Fire

Mark Robinette
Screengrab via WBNS

An Ohio community is mourning the tragic loss of a pastor and two of his sons. The three died in a fire that broke out in their home around midnight on the evening of Monday, Jan. 22. Mark Robinette, 55, perished while trying to get his sons, ages 10 and 17, out of the home. 

Robinette had gotten his wife and other children to safety before reentering the house. He never came back out.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined and remains under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s office.

Robinette was the pastor of Foundation Church in Mt. Sterling, Ohio. He founded the church in 2000. He was the father of eight children.

Robinette also spearheaded the church’s missionary efforts in Myanmar.

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Three other members of the family suffered injuries while escaping the home, according to the Columbus Dispatch. All three were released from the local hospital on Tuesday morning.

Members of Robinette’s extended family and community are surrounding the family with support, including Mike Comer, a cousin of Robinette who drove to Ohio from West Virginia as soon as he heard the news. 

“I just came up here to be with the family. They’ve lost everything,” Comer told WBNS. “There are a lot of needs. They don’t even have shoes…They’re going to need some help, but they need our prayers and anything we can do for them.”

“Mark was just so much to so many people, his foundation and his mission work,” Comer added. “He was going and building churches in Myanmar.”

The church held a vigil to mourn the loss of Robinette and his sons on Tuesday evening. 

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“Mark was the most giving person I know,” said one community member. “He was incredible. He was an incredible pastor. He did a lot of missionary work. No matter how old Mark was or how his health was, he would go down into the trenches for anyone.”