Off-duty RI firefighter spots house fire, pulls out burn victim

The man, who was burned over 98 percent of his body, died at the hospital

By FireRescue1 Staff

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — An off-duty fire lieutenant sprang into action Thursday when he saw smoke coming from a two-story house.

Providence Journal reported that Providence Fire Lt. Robert McCollough pulled over and parked his tow truck, which he drives as a second job, when he saw the smoke. He entered the house without PPE and rescued a severely burned victim.

The man, who was burned over 98 percent of his body, later died at the hospital.

One man escaped by jumping from the second floor and another by running out the first floor.

"It was just incredible heroism on the part of Lt. McCollough," arson investigator Paul Doughty said.

Doughty said there were no smoke detectors in the house.

McCollough said he was just doing "what firefighters are trained to do."

The fire began in the basement and extended to the first floor. It remains under investigation.

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