Neighbor's boyfriend pulls man from burning home

Daytona Beach fire officials say fire suspicious

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A man was saved from his burning Daytona Beach house Friday morning by a neighbor's boyfriend, who broke a bedroom window to to rescue him.

The fire broke out around 6 a.m. at 352 Fulton St.  A neighbor across the street saw smoke and flames and sent her boyfriend to help while she called 911, Daytona Beach firefighters said.

The neighbor's boyfriend, Marchell Cooper 28, said he kicked open the front door and noticed that "the house was filled with smoke, except about a foot off the floor."

"I ran to the door and tried it but it didn't open so I kicked it out," Cooper told Local 6.

Cooper said he then went to a bedroom window, broke the glass with his foot and saw two hands emerging from the smoke.  Cooper then pulled the person out of the house through the window, fire officials said.

"He hung on to me," Cooper said. "He hesitated because he fell asleep again and I help him out."

Cooper said adrenaline helped him pull the man who was twice his size out of the window.

"You're not really thinking you're just acting on what you're seeing," Cooper said.

The man inside the house, believed to be the owner, was taken to Halifax Health.  His condition is not known.

When firefighters arrived, the house was fully engulfed with flames and there was smoke throughout the house.

"During our investigation, we have determined this fire to be suspicious," said Lt. Michael Harvey of the Daytona Beach Fire Department.

Daytona Beach police later said that the homeowner started the fire, which has been ruled arson.  It's not known why the man ignited the blaze.

The home is believed to have sustained $30,000 in damage from the fire.

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