4 people saved as fire destroys Pinellas homes

Posted at 2:53 PM, May 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-31 18:17:04-04

A man and his dog are lucky to be alive after a fire ripped through their Treasure Island home Tuesday morning.

That homeowner called firefighters heroes for rescuing him from a second floor balcony on the 100 block of 90th Avenue.

The fire couldn’t have come at a worse time for John Stambaugh, who says he lives on a fixed income and did not renew his insurance this year.

However he added what he lost is just stuff and because of the Treasure Island Fire Department he still has his dog and his life.

"It's a horrible experience, horrible experience," Stambaugh told us, just over an hour after he was saved.

Stambaugh said an explosion in his garage woke him up, then he felt extreme heat and watched as flames engulfed his home.

"This sounds kind of strange but my concern was with my 2-year-old puppy. It's all I have in the world, especially now," Stambaugh said.

That's all thanks to the Treasure Island Fire Department and Lt. Jeff Logsdon.

"It's one of these things that happens so fast but you'll remember it for the rest of your life. Thank God we do a lot of training," Logsdon said during a news conference. He was assisted in the rescue by rookie firefighter Steven Rowland.

Stambaugh said his stairs were on fire, so he stood on the balcony and made sure his dog was saved first.

"All of a sudden this angel from heaven came out up a ladder and climbed up and I climbed over the rail he led me down. It saved my life," he said.

And not a moment too soon.

"I am not a scientist but my experience I've been doing this for 22 years. Two minutes would've made the difference between life and death or serious injury," Logsdon said.

Three other people who lived downstairs made it out safely as well. The fire spread to a second home and caused some fire and smoke damage as it took crews several hours to get it completely under control.