Chief Warrant Officer Edward Cantrell leaped from the second story of his North Carolina home, wrapped himself in a blanket and stormed back into the fire that was consuming his house.
Cantrell jumped into the inferno to save his 6-year-old Isabella and 4-year-old Natalia.
Tragically, he didn't make it back out.
Firefighters found Cantrell's body on the second floor of the home, not far from the bodies of his two young daughters.
According to Fox News.com:
"Cantrell, 36, was a member of the 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg. He held the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 2, which authorized Cantrell to lead half of his 12-member Green Beret team if it was split up. Records show Cantrell joined the Army in 1994, listing a home address in Plant City, Fla. He had one combat deployment to Iraq and five to Afghanistan, returning from the last mission in August."
Cantrell's record included four Bronze Stars and one Purple Heart, awarded for wounds suffered in a war zone, according to an Army Special Operations Command spokesman.
Cantrell was born in Dyersburg, Tennessee, and joined the Army as a military policeman. He served in South Korea, Bosnia and Italy before earning his Green Beret in 2004 at Fort Bragg and buying his family home in Hope Mills, North Carolina.
Cantrell's wife, Louise, survived.
Cantrell's Command wrote on Facebook that: "There are no words to express the sorrow felt in our close-knit community when a family suffers such a tragedy,"
A charity is collecting donations through the Army Special Operations Command's Facebook page.