By Mike LaCrosse

GROTON (CBS) – A Good Samaritan is being credited with saving an elderly man from a burning home in Groton.

Derek Vacca said he saw the home on fire at Forge Village Road around 12:30 Friday afternoon.

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“It was just that really heavy, thick smoke just pouring out of everywhere,” said Vacca.

He pulled over and asked a woman running across the home’s front lawn if she needed help. The woman told Vacca her tenant was still inside the burning home. The two called his name and could hear him groaning.

“I wanna go see if I can grab him, so I laid down on my belly and, you know, tried to get under the smoke like you learned in elementary school,” said Vacca.

A passerby pulled a man from a burning home in Groton. (WBZ-TV)

Vacca used his cell phone flash flashlight to see through the think smoke. He went into the burning home three times to find the man before being able to move him to the doorway.

“Did the best I could to pull him out and that was it, and finally, the other gentlemen that was picking up his kids obviously saw all this happening and he ran over,” said Vacca.

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“By the time I ran to the doorway, we just had to get him off the porch, then down away; then we tried to roll him over and sit him up so he could get some air,” said neighbor Andrew Casavecchia.

The victim and Vacca were both taken to the hospital.

Derek Vacca (WBZ-TV)

“I was kind of like throwing up like black carbon and spitting it all up,” said Vacca.

Vacca was treated at the hospital for several hours. The elderly man is still listed in serious condition at Lowell General Hospital.

Groton Fire Chief Steele McCurdy said the elderly man would have most likely perished in the fire if it was not for Vacca and the others who helped.

“He absolutely put himself in danger. We would never ask somebody to put themselves in danger, but he saw an opportunity to help someone and jumped right into action, so kudos to him,” said Groton Fire Chief Steele McCurdy.

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The cause of the fire is still unclear.