Tiara Del Rio and Beau Zimbro

Beau Zimbro, 32, and Tiara Del Rio, 21, were critically burned in a Peoria house explosion and have been in a medically induced coma since October 16, the day they arrived at the Arizona Burn Center at Maricopa Medical Center. They are improving but both face many years of recovery.

Tiara Del Rio

Beau Zimbro

Zimbro has second- and third-degree burns over 60 percent of his body, including on his torso, hands, face and head. Little more than half of Del Rio’s body is covered in second- and third-degree burns, mostly on her head, hands, and lower extremities.

The Peoria Police Department believes the explosion was likely caused by a gas line break. The explosion is still under investigation. The home that exploded was near 75th Ave and Cholla. Zimbro and Del Rio were inside the house when Del Rio lit the candle, that acted as a detonator police said.

Dr. Kevin Foster, director of the burn center, said both patients are in the process of entering the operative phase, where doctors will use skin grafts to replace the skin that was burnt beyond repair. Foster said they will be in a medically induced coma for up to five more days and will not be leaving the center for at least two months.

The couple’s family members said they met for the first time the night of the explosion. Zimbro and Del Rio had been dating for a month.

Christina Del Rio, Tiara’s mother, said Zimbro is her daughter’s hero. “He saved my daughters life,” she said. “They were both on fire and he picked her up and carried her out of the house.”

The couple’s families are seeking assistance from the community to help pay for damages and medical expenses.

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