DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A 79-year-old man was seriously injured in a house fire in west Dallas on Tuesday morning. The incident happened at about 3:20 a.m. in the 1900 block of Gallagher Street. Firefighters arrived at the home to find heavy smoke and intense flames.

A smoke alarm awakened the couple that lives in the home. The husband – the victim – went to go investigate the situation. He collapsed in a hallway and told his wife to get out of the house. It is not known if the fall was related to the fire or if he simply tripped, said Dallas Fire-Rescue official Jason Evans. The wife sought help from a nephew living next door, who called 911.

“We would never recommend, that when you hear your smoke detectors go off, never recommend searching for the source,” Evans explained. “Immediately leave the home. Once you get outside, whether or not you can see fire or smoke, call 911 and let the people that are trained to fight fire come out and assess the situation.”

Rescue crews pulled the husband to safety, but he was taken to Parkland Hospital in Dallas as CPR was being administered. “Transported to Parkland Hospital’s Burn Unit,” Evans said. He is in critical condition, suffering from burns on his back and smoke inhalation. Evans confirmed, however, that he has not been reported dead. The wife was able to escape without injury.

The fire has since been extinguished. The cause of the blaze, which started in the rear of the house, is now under investigation. “Devastating for the couple that lives here,” said Evans.

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