“I’m The Happiest Man in the World”: Former Ohio State Wrestler Mark Coleman Now Breathing On His Own After Saving Parents from House Fire

By Dan Hope on March 14, 2024 at 12:20 pm
Mark Coleman

Mark Coleman is awake and breathing of his own after saving his parents from a house fire earlier this week.

Coleman has been hospitalized since the fire at his parents’ house early Tuesday morning, which destroyed his childhood home in Fremont, Ohio. The 59-year-old former Ohio State wrestler and UFC Hall of Famer was airlifted to a hospital and was in critical condition on Tuesday due to smoke inhalation.

Fortunately, Coleman’s condition has improved over the past two days. On Thursday, Coleman’s daughter Kenzie posted a video on Facebook that showed Coleman speaking with his daughters for the first time since the fire.

In the video, Coleman expressed gratitude that he and his parents are alive while he mourned the loss of his dog, Hammer, whom he also attempted to rescue from the fire.

“I’m the happiest man in the world,” Coleman said through tears. “God, I’m so lucky. I can‘t believe my parents are alive. I had to make the decision, 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 it. I got them, but I couldn’t find Hammer.”

Coleman, a native of Fremont, Ohio, won the NCAA heavyweight championship for the Buckeyes in 1988. He went on to become the UFC’s first heavyweight champion in 1997 and was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2008.

Ohio State wrestling coach Tom Ryan is among those who have praised Coleman for his heroic efforts, saying he was unsurprised that Coleman would put his family’s safety before his own.

Coleman’s daughters, Kenzie and Morgan, set up a GoFundMe to raise money for the family’s expenses. The fundraiser had raised more than $68,000 as of Thursday afternoon.

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