It’s been a bit over a month since Eric Chambers and Jackie Goulet got engaged. They’ve known each other for 17 years, but only more recently their relationship turned romantic.
Yet, before they could tied the knot, Chambers, 36, faced a life and death situation and proved just how far his loyalty reached.
On the Christmas Day morning, Chambers and Goulet were up early, around 4:30 a.m., to wrap some last minute presents in their Arlington, Texas, home, where they lived with Goulet’s mother, aunt, and Goulet’s two children.
“I told him to turn the Christmas tree lights on because it seemed too gloomy in there,” Goulet told Fox 4. “He turned them on, and we went to the garage.”
But then her 12-year-old son started to yell that the house was on fire.
When Goulet dashed back into the house, the Christmas tree was ablaze. Chambers immediately ran inside the house and started to pull Goulet’s family out.
“He made sure my mom got out and he got my aunt out,” Goulet said. “She’s handicapped, too. So she was scared. He made sure she got out. And as soon as she was coming out the door, he was yelling, ‘You got Hailey?! You got everybody?!’ And we’re like, ‘Yeah we got everybody!’”
Chambers went in three times, but when he got out the last time, something was wrong.
“You could tell he was just in shock, just glad he got everybody out,” Goulet said. “Then, he just dropped. I was able to get him to walk two feet, and he dropped and said, ‘My face got burnt trying to get out the front door.’”
His injuries were serious. When Arlington firefighters arrived, they took Chambers to a hospital, but shortly afterwards he died.
“He said I was his twin flame and I filled the void that he couldn’t fill with everything else in his life,” Goulet said. “He’s finally found me and he was happy and ready to move forward, and it’s taken away.”
“Words cannot express how much I miss you,” she later wrote on Facebook. “We were supposed to get married. I’m in complete shock still. I’ll forever love and respect and miss you baby. You risked your safety to save my mom, aunt, my (ours in the sense that you loved and cared for them like your own) two kids, and even my dog. I love you to the moon and back. I can’t even begin to imagine what it would have been like if my family hadn’t survived, especially my children. And because of your heroic bravery—I won’t have to.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help fund Chambers’ funeral and the recovery of Goulet’s family that has lost their home and possessions, including their Christmas presents.
2017 in review