RUSKIN — An off-duty firefighter rescued a man from his burning house Tuesday morning, according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.
The fire took a toll, though: the homeowner was airlifted to a hospital and two dogs died.
Tampa firefighter Luigi Young saw smoke rising from his neighbor's home at 14306 King Tom Place in a subdivision west of U.S. 301 and south of Big Bend Road, fire officials said. Young tried to battle the fire with a garden hose but was unable to stave off the flames.
While extinguishing, Young heard a cough inside the home and located the homeowner, pulling him to safety. The 51-year-old man, who was not identified, was flown to Tampa General Hospital where he remained in intensive care Tuesday night, authorities said.
Hillsborough County fire crews found two dogs and two parrots in the house. They were unable to resuscitate the dogs, firefighters said, but the parrots were doing well at a neighbor's house.
The fire remained under investigation Tuesday night.