ODENVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — A family is in mourning after a man died in a house fire trying to save his dogs.
“I thought he was behind me, I said, ‘come on Phillip,’ and saw he was trying to get the fire extinguisher, but I thought he was right behind me,” said Angela Hudgins, the wife of a man who died in a house fire.
The coroner identified the man as 46-year-old Phillip Hudgins, who according to police and the family, managed to get his wife and child out of the home safely before he went back inside to get his dogs where they all died.
The Hudgins’ family home sits on Mator Patch Road torched to pieces, but the resilience of Phillip Hudgins’ 12-year old daughter helped save more lives.
“I heard a loud popping that woke me up, and then I heard another one, and then I saw smoke so I ran in there, and then I saw the fire so I went in there bedroom and yelled at daddy and mama, ‘get up, fire, fire, get up,’” said Summer Hudgins.
That’s when her father Phillip jumped into action and guided them out of the burning home, but then he went back inside.
“We think he went back inside to get the dogs and then he died of smoke, and then the dogs didn’t know that so they tried to protect him from the fire and they died with him,” cried Summer Hudgins.
Phillip and his dogs were found inside of his bedroom. His family remembers a funny guy whose last deed on earth was his most heroic.
“He did his duty, he was protecting his wife and daughter his last time,” said Angela Hudgins.
The home where they lived for 10 years sits torched, charred and declared a total loss as they wonder where they will go from here.
“A day at a time and try to start over may take a year or two or a little more, but start over, me and my daughter, we’re survivors, we’ll make it,” said Angela Hudgins.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but officials said they don’t suspect foul play.