NEWS.COM.AU REPORT: TO his family, Tony Guerra was a loyal father, husband, brother and son.
Yesterday the proud family man paid the ultimate price for his loyalty, dying as he bravely fought to save his wife and daughter from their burning family home.
Tony and his 10-year-old daughter, Brittany, died in a fire that broke out in his Sorrento property about 7 o'clock yesterday morning.
Family members said his wife of almost 20 years, Kylie, woke to discover their TV room's curtain on fire and daughter Brittany standing nearby.
- Girl, 10 and father killed in house blaze
As smoke billowed throughout the home, it is believed Tony and Kylie struggled to get their daughter to safety.
Tony then smashed the room's window and dragged Kylie, who was severely affected by smoke, out the broken window. In the confusion, the couple lost sight of Brittany.
Kylie told family members she remembers Tony then passing out, presumably from smoke inhalation.
Tony's brother, John, told the Herald Sun: "Kylie said that (Tony) passed out, but then got back up again and ran around the other side (to look for Brittany) and that was the last she saw of him. She never got to see him again."
Tony was later dragged from the home, with paramedics working for almost an hour to resuscitate him.
He died at the scene while Brittany was found in the kitchen area of the house. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.
Family yesterday congregated at a Rosebud family home to remember the man who loved to surf and waterski.
John Guerra told the Herald Sun his brother met Kylie when she was just 17, and they had been together ever since.
Tony, aged in his 40s, had recently stopped working to care full-time for Brittany, who was left with a disability after complications at birth.
"They have been together since she was 17 and he was about 19, and ... have been married a good 20 years or so, and they really loved each other," John said.
"He and Kylie were both water babies, they loved to waterski. He played football for Rosebud, but it was his surfing and the water he loved most. He was loyal to his family, he loved his girls and living with a handicapped child would drive a lot of couples apart, but it made them stronger."
John said his family were thankful the tragedy was not worse as Tony's youngest daughter, Marlie, was staying with a nearby relative at the time of the fire started.
Kylie was taken to hospital in a stable condition.