Dania Beach Man Dies After Trying to Save Dogs From Fire

Family members and friends are mourning a man who died after trying to save his two pet dogs from a fire at his mobile home in Dania Beach over the weekend

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Family members and friends are mourning a man who died after trying to save his two pet dogs from a fire at his mobile home in Dania Beach over the weekend. NBC 6's Laura Rodriguez reports. (Published Monday, Apr 21, 2014)

    Family members and friends are mourning a man who died after trying to save his two pet dogs from a fire at his mobile home in Dania Beach over the weekend.

    Jerry "Bone" Chapman passed away on Saturday from injuries he sustained in the fire that broke out at his home at 5299 Southwest 22nd Terrace Friday night, Broward Sheriff's Office officials said.

    Relatives said when Chapman realized the house was on fire, he threw 10-year-old Princess out the window. He then ran out of the home, but noticed 4-year-old Peanut was still inside, so he went back to try and save her.

    "He wouldn't come back out and a neighbor that lives behind him pulled him out, made him come out and they sat him down, and all he did the whole time was scream for his babies," relative Jackie Cardenas said.

    Officials said Chapman was badly burned and suffered smoke inhalation and was air lifted to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood and then Ryder Trauma Center, where he later died.

    Princess did not survive either.

    "He was a hero," Cardenas said. "He went back in for something he loved."

    The fire completely destroyed the home, BSO officials said. Chapman is survived by his wife, Doris "Dorito" Chapman, who he was married to for 19 years. Family members said she feels like she's lost everything.

    "She couldn't have children," Cardenas said. "And of course people don't understand. They think he was foolish, he was dumb, but he lost his life for what he loved. Those were their babies."

    The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

    Family members have set up a GoFundMe.com account to help pay for funeral expenses. They are also asking anyone who may have seen Princess to contact the family through this website.

    "In honor of Jerry's bravery to save his dogs that he loved so much, any remaining funds will be used for a memorial at the doggie park they went to... His loving heart and love of his family is beyond measure," a post on the site read. "He was always a dedicated man in every aspect of his life, even in his decision to risk his life for what he loved. He gave all for what he believed in !!!"