Dania Beach man who tried to save dogs from mobile home fire die - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Dania Beach man who tried to save dogs from mobile home fire dies

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Jerry Chapman, aka "Bone" Jerry Chapman, aka "Bone"
The scene of the mobile home fire in Dania Beach. The scene of the mobile home fire in Dania Beach.
DANIA BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- A selfless act of heroism led to tragedy for one South Florida man who died one day after he tried to save his dogs from his burning mobile home.

Investigators said 43-year-old Jerry Chapman was inside his mobile home, located on the 5200 block of Southeast 22nd Terrace in Dania Beach, when a fire broke out Friday evening. According to relatives, he ran back inside to save his two dachshunds, 10-year-old Princess and 4-year-old Peanut, but was unable to do so. "He would give up his life as he did for what he loved," said relative Jackie Cardenas as she fought back tears.

Relatives said a neighbor pulled Chapman out of the burning home. "They set him down on the ground in front of his house, and all he kept screaming was, 'Where are the babies?'" said Cardenas.

Chapman was then transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital in critical condition for severe burns and smoke inhalation. His family said he passed away Saturday afternoon.

Loved ones described Chapman, also known as "Bone," as a loving husband to Doris, his wife of 19 years, and a loving father to his dogs. "He was a good husband, a good brother-in-law, he was just a good everything," said Betty Wood, Chapman's mother-in-law.

A man who has known Chapman since he was born was devastated by the news. "A lot of people ... he affected your lives in a lot of ways," said Clint Parks.

According to Wood, Chapman and his wife could not have children, so they cared for the dachshunds as if they were family. "You have little dogs, and you can't have children. That's your babies," she said.

Princess' body was reportedly recovered at the scene. Peanut has not been found. Family and friends have put up flyers in the hope that he ran off and might be found later.

Chapman's home was declared a total loss. Sunday night, relatives tried to salvage what they could from the remains.

Chapman's family said they are making sure his memory lives on. They have set up a GoFundMe account for his widow Doris. If you would like to make a donation, go to: http://www.gofundme.com/8hlfjs.


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