Father With a ‘Heart of Gold’ Dies Trying to Save Family Dogs From Raging Housefire

September 4, 2020 Updated: September 4, 2020

Australian family man Wayne Rare is being remembered for his “heart of gold” after forfeiting his life to rescue from his burning house the family’s dogs, Blaze and Ilo.

When their home in Kirrawee, a southern suburb of Sydney, suddenly caught fire, the 54-year-old, his wife, Toni, and two adult children were forced to evacuate.

After escaping, while suffering burns and smoke inhalation, Rare charged back into the inferno when he realized that his beloved dogs were trapped inside. Tragically, he succumbed to fire-related injuries and could not be revived by doctors at the Royal North Shore Hospital.

The fire started in the early hours of Aug. 29 and resulted in a towering blaze with explosions that could be seen and heard around the area. The cause of the fire was not determined.

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(Illustration – StockPhotosLV/Shutterstock)

Friend and former neighbor Diaz Nailer, who created a crowdfunding page to help the grieving family, shared that all four members had gotten out when “Wayne, with his heart of gold, ran back inside to try and retrieve their family dogs.”

“It all happened so fast,” she said, as reported by the Daily Mail Australia.

An eyewitness told 7 News Australia that Wayne “was just dragging everybody out, trying to get the dogs out,” while another said that the burnt and injured father was “crawling out,” while the onlookers stood by, unable to help, waiting for first responders, adding, “No one had any hoses. We didn’t have any buckets.”

While their dog Blaze managed to make it to safety at their neighbor’s house, Ilo succumbed to the fire.

All of the family members suffered varying degrees of injury, with mom Toni Chapman, 51, being put in an induced coma as doctors treated her for burns at the St. George Hospital in nearby Kogarah. The couple’s two children, Ziggy, 25, and Jacinta 23, were taken to the same hospital and received treatment for smoke inhalation.

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Royal North Shore Hospital, where Wayne Rare was rushed for treatment (Screenshot/Google Maps)

Thankfully, the three survivors were stabilized and then sent to Royal North Shore Hospital and spent “their last few moments with our brave, MUCH LOVED Wayne,” as the family’s crowdfunding page says.

Wayne gave of himself even after his death, as he was also an organ donor. In a Facebook post, his mother, Huhana Rare, noted that her son “donated his heart valves saving the living. Thank you, my son, we all know you were generous with your love for your children and also willing and so giving to help whoever needed help.”

Besides losing a father and husband and a beloved pet, the family also lost their house, along with all of the belongings that were inside.

Their friend Diaz Nailer called for friends of the family and people in the community to come to their aid. “They are the most beautiful family, who welcome people into their lives with open arms,” she shared. “The family is just distraught and they have lost everything—they literally have nothing left.”

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