Local Filmmaker Raises Money for Father's Funeral After Tragic Fire

Categories: Film and TV

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Robert Vargas Sr. with his sons Josh and Robert Jr.
Three years ago Josh Vargas took to Indiegogo to raise $10,000 for In a Madman's World, his biopic of notorious Houston rapist and murder Dean Corll and his two young accomplices David Brooks and Elmer Wayne Henley. Now, he's back on Indiegogo for a much sadder purpose; to raise $2,400 to help bury his father, Robert Vargas Sr., who passed away at the age of 47 on Christmas Eve due to a fire that erupted as he slept in his Baytown home.

"My Dad was a good man," said Vargas via Facebook. "The toughest son of a bitch to come out of Baytown, Texas. He was 16-years-old raising myself and my little brother and more of a man at that time then most adults I've ever met. This was not the way he should have went out! I'm going to miss him more than I could ever articulate."

According to KHOU, the blaze began around 5:30 a.m., and is believed to have been caused by a sparking electric heater. The elder Vargas, a talented scaffold builder affectionately known as "Bullet" for his iron work ethic, awoke to the blaze but could not find an exit from his upstairs bedroom. He collided with a wall, thinking it was a window, and never made it out.

"I'm so sorry I wasn't here," said Robert Vargas Jr. to KHOU. "I'm so sorry I wasn't here. I'm sorry. I hope you're not mad at me." Robert Vargas Jr. lost all of his own possessions as well when the fire destroyed the home he shared with his dad.

Family members and Facebook friends chipped in with items and money to replace Christmas presents lost in the fire for the children and grandchildren, but there still remains the cost of laying Bullet to rest as he wanted to be next to his father.

Josh Vargas, who recently completed a brutal, but brilliant film adaptation of one of Houston's darkest historical periods, was able to secure a loan for the initial $7,000 cost of his father's pine box coffin, but there remains the associate fees in order to place him next to Vargas' grandfather in Sterling-White Funeral Home & Cemetery. To accomplish that end, he's asking for donations. Interested parties can contribute funds at the Indiegogo page here.

Josh Vargas is scheduled to begin his next production, Summer of Saw, a docudrama about the filming of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre told from the recollections of star Marilyn Burns, later this year.


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