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UFC legend Mark Coleman responsive after rescuing parents from burning house: 'I'm the happiest man in the world'

Coleman was unable to save the life of his dog, Hammer, in the fire

Mark Coleman was unable to save the life of his dog, Hammer, in the fire. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Mark Coleman was unable to save the life of his dog, Hammer, in the fire. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images) (Jeff Bottari via Getty Images)

UFC legend Mark Coleman is alert, talking and breathing on his own in a Toledo, Ohio, hospital after saving his parents from a house fire on Tuesday.

In a video posted on Facebook on Thursday, Coleman is seen embracing his daughters Kenzie and Morgan in an emotional moment inside his hospital room.

“I’m the happiest man in the world,” Coleman said. “Sweet God, I’m so lucky. I can’t believe my parents are alive. … I had to make a decision, Wes. Because I got out of my room and went to the door and it was already horrible. I couldn’t breathe. I almost had to go outside and I went back in and got them. I can’t believe I got them but I couldn’t find Hammer.”

Coleman was unable to save the life of his dog, Hammer. Coleman was later airlifted to a hospital and treated for smoke inhalation. Since Tuesday, the medical staff have worked to clear his lungs.

The 59-year-old Coleman had already carried both of his parents, Dan and Connie Foos Coleman, out of their home. He went back into the flames in an unsuccessful attempt to save Hammer. The dog "saved [Mark’s] life by barking until he woke up,” Kenzie Coleman wrote on her Instagram story.

“As many know, our dad was involved in a house fire early this morning along with his parents and beloved dog, Hammer,” Morgan Coleman wrote. “He managed to carry both of his parents out of the house but despite his best efforts was not able to save [our dog] Hammer. He was life-flighted to the hospital where he is currently battling for his life after this heroic act.

Coleman's daughters launched a GoFundMe to help with medical expenses, which is closing in on $70,000 raised as of Thursday afternoon.

Words can't describe how thankful we are for the love and generosity you all have shown. We want to Thank each and every one of you for your support, kind words, prayers, and donations. We will keep you updated on our Dads progress.

Hammer House 4 Life !
~Kenzie and Morgan Coleman

Coleman was the UFC's first heavyweight champion in 1997. Often referred to as “The Godfather of Ground-and-Pound," he was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2008.