Off-duty firefighter saves neighbor from blaze

Tampa Fire Rescue firefighter Luigi Young was napping after a 24-hour shift when his family woke him up to tell him about the fire

By FireRescue1 Staff

RUSKIN, Fla. — An off-duty firefighter rescued his neighbor from a burning home after just finishing a 24-hour shift.

Tampa Bay Times reported that Tampa Fire Rescue firefighter Luigi Young had just finished a 24-hour shift and was napping when his mother and sister woke him up to tell him their neighbor’s house was on fire.

Young learned from other neighbors that homeowner Paul Gregory had run into the house but had not returned. Young entered the home and found Gregory on the floor inside.

"He’d inhaled a lot of smoke," Young said. "He kept saying, ‘My dogs, save my dogs.’"

Young carried Gregory out of the home and grabbed a hose before returning inside and trying to prevent the fire from reaching the ceiling.

The pressure of the hose was only enough to create smoke, and Young knew he had no time to extinguish the aggressive fire.

"It was moving. It was angry," Young said.

A crew from Hillsborough County Fire Rescue responded and pulled the dogs from the home, who did not survive, but Young was able to rescue Gregory’s parrots from the back porch.

Gregory was transported to the hospital, where he is in critical condition.

"My husband and family and I are so very grateful to the firefighter that saved our son’s life," Donna Gregory said. "I wouldn’t have him at all if it weren’t for him. I hope to be able to tell him in person one day."

"Any one of the 700 men and women I work with would have done the same thing," Young said. "We’re there to help people, on duty or off duty. I just did what we need to do."


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