NORTH HUNTINGDON (KDKA)- A man was taken to the hospital after escaping a fire at his home in North Huntingdon.

The fire started just before midnight at a home on Veronica Lane.

The man inside the home was able to escape on his own.

“He woke up to find the fire in the living room,” said Assistant Fire Chief of the Circleville Volunteer Fire Department Bill Sombo. “He did try to knock it down himself with a fire extinguisher, but the fire was too big. So, he ran out and the neighbor called 911.”

One of the dogs inside the home was able to get out of the home and into the backyard.

“During the interior search for animals,  one of the dogs was in the backyard,” said Sombo.  “It was aggressive towards the firefighters, so we got him cornered in back of the yard and concentrated on the rest of the interior.”

The homeowner, Pete Mortakis, says they were his daughter’s dogs. One died, the other was rescued.

“The guy ran out and he was kind of distraught. He was lying on the street and they were trying to get him off the street and he had dogs in the house,” neighbor Josh Peretic said.

The fire started in the living room and the home is a total loss. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the North Huntingdon fire investigators.

Firefighters also found and removed six rifles from inside a bedroom of the home. They say the weapons were loaded, but they had nothing to do with the fire.

Mortakis was treated and released from Forbes Hospital for smoke inhalation. He does have insurance.

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