DORCHESTER (CBS) – A man was critically burned helping rescue people from a fire at a home in Dorchester early Wednesday morning.

Flames broke out on the first floor of the triple decker on Ridgewood Street just before 4 a.m.

“It started small and then just started getting bigger,” resident Murienne Edouard told WBZ-TV.  “I heard a lady screaming in Spanish, ‘help me, help me.’”

The fire started on the first floor of this home on Ridgewood Street. (Image credit: Murienne Edouard)

The fire started on the first floor of this home on Ridgewood Street. (Image credit: Murienne Edouard)

Firefighters said 15 people, including 7 children, were in the home at the time. All of them escaped, but the fire department said one man was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital in critical condition with respiratory problems and burns on his hands and face.

His name has not been released. He was staying in an apartment on the first floor because his own home had been damaged recently in a fire.

A friend of his told WBZ-TV the man was hurt trying to save people in the triple decker from the fire Tuesday.

“He had to break the windows to get out because it was all fire, then he had to go to the second floor to wake everybody up and the third floor,” the friend, Banazair Ruiz, said.

One firefighter was taken to the hospital for a back injury.

The cause of the fire is still not known.

“It was probably on the first floor porch, somewhere inside the first floor. With this type of weather, with windows being open still, the fire can travel in or out very quickly,” District Fire Chief Jeff Whitman told reporters.

“It was very scary. I’m still shaking right now,” Edouard told WBZ.

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