Mid-South minister rescues family from blaze - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Ben Watson

Mid-South minister rescues family from blaze

A Mid-South minister is fighting for his life following an early morning fire that trapped him in his home in the 3900 block of Weaver. 

When the sun came up over Reverend Willie Murphy Senior's burned out house, his children returned to find a charred mess in the place the family has called home for the past 20 years.

What's worse is the fire started while family members were asleep.

Reverend Willie Murphy Sr. woke up first. He then woke up everybody else in the house and got them outside.

But the last time Reverend Murphy went back in the house he was overcome with smoke and collapsed in a front room.

"And he put his life on the line to make sure everybody else got out of that house safely, my mom and my nieces and nephews. So hey, I applaud him," says Willie Murphy Jr.

Willie Jr. said his dad is now in the hospital's burn unit in critical condition. "The doctors are telling us that things are not looking good right now," adds Murphy.

Family members say another hero in the fire was their little dog Coco. He was the first to smell smoke and his constant barking is what woke Reverend Murphy.

Willie Jr. adds, "So I want to applaud that dog, actually the little small dog that they had, I thank God for that.

Despite his heroics, little Coco got trapped in the house and died in the fire. Family members buried little Coco in a grave in front of the house.

And as family members grieve for little Coco, they pray for Reverend Murphy and thank God that everyone else got out of the burning house alive.

The family did have insurance on the house. They say they want to rebuild in the same spot.

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