SANTEE, Calif. (KGTV) -- A man is in the hospital tonight after trying to save his dogs in an apartment fire.
The Santee Villas Apartments were roaring in flames Thursday night. One of the residents headed directly into the danger zone trying to save his two chihuahua.
Melanie Jaracz watched in horror as her neighbor risked his life climbing through a window.
"They busted out the windows to that," said Jaracz. "He tried climbing through that and they kept dragging him back. Nobody could get him to come out because he was so worried about his animals."
Santee fire crews say it started in a bottom unit and quickly spread to three others around it. First responders tried to revive one of the dogs but it was too late.
The man was taken to the hospital to be treated for burns and smoke inhalation. The cause of the fire is under investigation.