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Tampa, FL -- A grandfather rescued a family of six who lost everything in an overnight house fire.

It happened at a home on East 25th Avenue in the East Tampa area, near Orient Park. Jim McQueen explained that he was sitting at home watching TV just after midnight when he smelled smoke.

"I came out here, flipped the porch light on... I didn't see anything," said McQueen.

When McQueen went next door to investigate further, he discovered his son's house was on fire.

"First thing I thought [was to] get that fire out and then I thought, 'No, you gotta get them kids and stuff out of there,'" said McQueen.

Fearing for his grandchildren's safety, McQueen did what he said any man in his position would have done.

"I come back in, I hollered for my wife -- she was already in bed -- and I went back out there and got my garden hose," said McQueen.

The grandparents rushed next door, desperately banging on the doors, knocking on the windows, doing anything to get their family out of the burning home.

The mother, father and four children all got out safely, but the fire destroyed their home, everything in it, and took the lives of their two dogs.

Firefighters worked to pull out piles of possessions and buckets of belongings, but not much could be salvaged after the fire.

According to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, the burned house is not safe and crews were called in to tear it down.

Family, friends and neighbors watched as a house that holds a lifetime of memories was demolished in the matter of minutes. But McQueen still manages to find a bright side in all of this.

"It could be a lot worse," said McQueen.

Investigators are still looking into the cause of the fire. McQueen explained that the home did have a smoke detector, but he said that the batteries were likely dead.

This fire is a reminder if how important it is to have working smoke detectors in your home. If the grandfather had not been nearby, this story could have had a darker outcome.

The Red Cross is now helping the family.

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