An Arlington family is alive thanks to the courageous acts of one man who sacrificed everything to save those he loved.
Eric Chambers, 36, was staying with his girlfriend, Jackie Goulet, at her parents home in south Arlington when a fire broke out at about 4:20 a.m. Christmas morning.
Jeannine Gabriel, Jackie's mother, said her 12-year-old grandson awoke to see the Christmas tree engulfed in flames and begain screaming, "The Christmas tree is on fire, the tree is on fire!"
Chambers immediately jumped into action and was able to get his girlfriend, her mother and aunt, and their two grandchildren to safety, said Gabriel.
Chambers was the last one out of the house, and sustained severe burns from the fire, said Gabriel.
He collapsed on the front lawn, right after getting Gabriel's handicapped, elderly sister to safety.
Arlington Fire crews arrived on scene and immediately started life-saving efforts on Chambers.
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He was rushed to the hospital, but did not survive.
"We're just thankful everyone else is okay," said Gabriel.
The damage to their home and its contents is estimated at about $46,000, according to the Arlington Fire Department.
Gabriel said all of the children's Christmas presents were burned up.
Chambers friend and coworker, Brandon Sallee, has started a Go Fund Me to help with funeral expenses and other costs due to the fire.
Gabriel said their home did have working smoke detectors.