TREASURE ISLAND, FL (WFLA) – A man is lucky to be alive after he was forced to flee to a second-story balcony during a fast-moving fire, officials tell News Channel 8.
A fire lieutenant and a rookie firefighter rescued the man as flames and smoke came within feet of him, the lieutenant said. The man and his dog made it off the balcony safely.
“They literally saved my life,” said John Stambaugh. “I owe the fire department my life.”
The fire erupted just after midnight Tuesday at a home along 90th Ave. near W. Gulf Blvd. on Treasure Island.
Residents report hearing a large boom in the garage area, then they saw flames.
Cell phone video captured by a passer-by shows flames shooting from the roof. Screams can also be heard.
Treasure Island fire lieutenant Jeff Logsdon and rookie firefighter Steven Rowland were first on scene. They put up a ladder and Rowland climbed the to top to save Stambaugh and his Bluetick Hound Molly.
“Big flames,” Rowland said. “Lots of smoke. People all over.”
Logsdon tells News Channel 8 Stambaugh and his dog had just moments before the fire spread to the balcony.
“All of a sudden, this angel from heaven came up, put up a ladder, climbed up, took the dog and came back for me,” Stambaugh said, referring to Rowland’s actions.
No one was hurt.
The fire jumped to another home next-door.
A fire marshal is looking for a cause.
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