ANNETTA, TX—Fighting his condition until the very end, local man Ron Batton died Wednesday following a short battle with a gas leak explosion. “Ron was a real trooper,” said his brother Kevin Batton, adding that throughout the fraction of a second between the 2000-degree fireball engulfing him and his body becoming nothing more than a pile of cinders, Ron held his head high and “never, ever surrendered.” “He kept quiet about it and didn’t let it change the way he lived his life in any way. In fact, we didn’t even find out what was happening until everyone in a one-mile radius heard a deafening explosion, and chunks of his house began raining down from the sky. But if you knew Ron like I did, none of that is the least bit surprising.” Batton went on to say that given how much Ron was suffering, they were confident he was finally ready to go.