Florida Man Dies Trying To Save His Dogs From Mobile Home Fire

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A 43-year-old Florida man died after he saved his two dogs from a house fire, when they ran back inside and he chased them.

Marvin Jerry Chapman initially escaped the fire unharmed Friday night but ran back into the burning mobile home to save his dachshunds.

The fire started around 7 p.m. Friday, according to Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue.

Neighbors said they heard Chapman yell “Fire” and several called 911.

Witnesses say two men dragged Chapman out of the home, but he went back in for the dogs, Peanut and Princess.

“He was able to get one dog in the rear of the trailer, break a window and throw that dog out,” Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles told the Sun Sentinel.

But 4-year-old Peanut ran back into the house. The body of the other dog, 10-year-old Princess, was found under a bed. 

The house was engulfed in flames by the time fire fighters arrived.

Chapman sustained critical burns and died at Jackson Memorial Hospital Saturday morning.

“He would give up his life as he did for what he loved,” said a tearful relative, Jackie Cardenas.

Champan lived in the home for 19 years with his wife, Doris, who was at work at the time of the fire.

“My daughter is devastated,” said mother-in-law Betty Wood. “In an instant she lost everything, her husband, her dogs, her home.”

“Jerry used to say, ‘We don't have much, but this is our little circle right here,’” she added. “He risked his life for his babies, and now it's all gone.”

The family is trying to raise funds for a funeral on GoFundMe.

“Your love and support is more than any money can ever buy ... With any donations, it will help for funeral costs and to help Doris rebuild her life with out her honeybun and her babies,” the donation page says.

The fire is currently being investigated by Broward Sheriff's fire marshal bureau and the state fire marshal.

Sources: Daily Mail, Sun Sentinel