By Matt Petrillo


WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) — A Delaware family is grieving after a decorated U.S. Marine and loving father from Wilmington was killed Monday in a roadside bombing in Afghanistan. Sgt. Chris Slutman leaves behind three little girls and a wife.

(credit: CBS3)

Slutman’s parents say he wanted to become a New York City firefighter since he was 8 years old and he achieved that dream. He worked in the Bronx as a firefighter for the last 15 years, usually a couple of shifts at a time, and then he would be home in Wilmington for a few days.

On Tuesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio posted a photo of himself congratulating Slutman in 2014 after he saved a woman from a burning building in the Bronx.

He was also a U.S. Marine and had been recently deployed to the Middle East. He and two others were killed Monday when a roadside bomb went off near the U.S. base in Afghanistan. The Taliban claimed responsibility.

Slutman’s parents got the news from the Marine Corps last night.

“When I turned the porch light on and opened the door, and I saw in uniform, I said, ‘This is not good.’ He said, ‘Can we come in?’ I said, ‘Yes,’ came and sat at the table. He said, ‘Do you want to get your wife?’ And I really didn’t want to until I learned more. I shook my head no and he shook his head yes. So, I called my wife in and then we went through everything and he explained everything,” said Fletcher Slutman.

Chris Slutman’s father also described how family and friends remembered his son.

“He was good. He was always positive. He was always doing things for people and everything like that, so you felt good after you were with him,” said Fletcher Slutman.

Slutman and his family moved to Wilmington three years ago. It’s where he met his wife and started to raise their three girls.

Members of the FDNY have been coming to the Slutman home in Wilmington all day to help console his family.