Don O’Steen is a hero.

Not only did he receive a purple heart during his time in the Army, but he also saved his 3-year-old granddaughter’s life when the home they were in exploded.

On September 19, O’Steen and his granddaughter, Paetyn, were having a lunch date. As O’Steen’s son, Brendon O’Steen, told KFOR during the lunch date his father lit a candle next to the stove that sat roughly 30 feet from the front door. First responders believe an unknown gas leak caused the home to explode just minutes later, but the investigation is still ongoing.


As KFOR reports, the grandfather suffered severe burns to most of his body, broken ribs, and a collapsed lung as a result of the fire. But despite his extensive injuries, O’Steen still managed to pull his 3-year-old granddaughter from the roof that collapsed on her. He then carried her out of the home and a quarter-mile down the road to safety.

Brendon told KFOR:

“He just got out of the house and headed straight to where he knew help was. He tried to get in his truck and his keys were melted to him. His phone was exploded in his pocket. Just thought about the steep grade of that driveway and just knew and kind of came to the conclusions that they were carried up that driveway you know. It wasn`t him, it wasn`t her something carried them up that driveway.”

While Paetyn is still recovering, O’Steen sadly succumbed to his injuries on September 23.


Brendon wrote on Facebook that his father was a God-fearing man who died a hero:

Unfortunately my dad Don O’Steen passed away this afternoon around 1pm. He was surrounded by a large group of his favorite people for his last 5 days. He knew that he did his job by saving the life of his Boo Boo Chicken. He loved my daughter beyond unconditionally. And he gave it all for her to live. He was a great God-fearing man who impacted so many people. And he will be missed dearly. My dad was a very Christian man. He believed he should try his best to live his life to the standard of Jesus Christ and that was his first obligation every day that he woke up. He lived to be like Christ, and he gave his life in sacrifice of my daughter’s Like Christ. He was happy on his way to heaven and I hope that brings all of you who knew him and loved him personally to peace with his passing.

Rest In Peace Daddio. You’re a hero.

Now, as Brendon told KFOR, he believes his father will be Paetyn’s guardian angel, and he has an inkling that she will be tough as he was. Brendon already sees signs of that as she continues to recover.

A Facebook fundraiser has been set up to help the O’Steen with both medical and funeral costs.

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