Family speaks as man injured in explosion at Ogden home fights for his life

Posted at 6:08 PM, Mar 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-10 20:08:20-05

OGDEN, Utah -- To neighbors, he's known as uncle Bobby. But to his eleven kids, he's dad.

Robert Orris is one of his sons.

"He was a good, loving father, and he just wanted to be with his kids: That’s all he wanted," Robert Orris said.

In video captured Tuesday night, you can see Bobby Orris as he narrowly escapes from the roof of his Ogden home after it exploded and burst into flames. He was rushed to the University of Utah hospital moments later.

"I didn’t think it would be that bad, like, it was way worse than I thought it was," Robert Orris said.

When his family came to see him, they were shocked.

"His eyes are swollen shut; he can’t even move," says another son, Dylan Orris.

"He’s not doing very well," said Sharon Cater, the man's mother. "All of his organs are shut down except his heart."

He's in a medically-induced coma and unable to talk.

"I started talking to him and I didn’t think he could hear me, and then I see tears coming out of his eyes," says Dylan Orris.

The family says vicious rumors have been circulating on social media, saying the fire started because the house was a meth lab.

"He’s a really good man and I would really appreciate if people would stop throwing around meth, that it was a meth explosion," Dylan Orris said.

They think it may be because there were some squatters living in the home and using drugs while Bobby Orris spent some time out of state.

"When he was in Washington there were squatters in his house and tore the house apart," Cater said.

However, in the past few months, he's been cleaning out the house and looking forward to getting his life back on track with his family.

"He has a great heart. He always tries to give as much as he can give," says another son, Jeffrey Orris.

It's a pursuit his family is praying he can continue.

"He may not make it, but they’re not going to stop trying," Cater said.

A GoFundMe page and an account called the Bobby Orris charitable fund with the America First Credit Union have been set up to assist Orris and his family.