Off-duty Tampa firefighter saves neighbor from burning home

After working a 24-hour shift, a Tampa firefighter saved a neighbor from his burning home.

TAMPA, Fla. - Firefighter Luigi Young had just laid in bed after working a  24-hour shift on Christmas when someone knocked on the door. 

His neighbor's house was on fire.

Looking out the window, Young saw smoke and immediately jumped into action.

He initially tried putting the fire out with a garden hose, but it was spreading too quickly.

He knew his neighbor, Paul Gregory, lived in the house alone but couldn’t find him.  

“I started looking and asking if anyone saw him inside because I didn’t see anything," Young said. "Couple minutes later still nothing, so decided to go inside and look for him."

Neighbor Joe Philon filmed the whole event on Facebook live.

“I mean he was like something from a movie. It was crazy,” Philon said.

With heavy smoke billowing from the roof, Young dropped to the ground and crawled back into the home.

“It’s what we’re trained to do," he said. "I crawled inside so all that bad stuff is above me. I was able to grab him, put him over my shoulders and pull him out.”

Gregory and his two birds survived, but his dogs did not.

Philon described Young as a hero.

“He’s amazing. Paul wouldn’t be here right now if it wasn’t for Luigi running into the house doing what he did,” he said.

Young doesn't see himself as a hero.

“It’s something we would have all done," he said. "We do this every day. It’s what we signed up to do, to help others.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Gregory is recovering at Tampa General Hospital.  

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