Firefighters rescued a badly injured man from a burning house Sunday in northeast Fort Wayne.
Sarah Cramer was among the many neighbors who gathered outside, watching firefighters and paramedics respond to 6515 Woodthrush Drive in the Tanbark Trails neighborhood near Maplecrest and Rothman roads.
Cramer, who called 911 when her husband noticed the smoke, said she saw "just tons of black smoke" coming from the one-story residence.
The city fire department arrived about 3 p.m. Neighbors reported hearing a person inside the house and directed firefighters where they thought the man was trapped, Fire Chief Eric Lahey said.
Firefighters breached a window and pulled the man out. The man, believed to be in his mid-30s, was hospitalized in critical condition, Lahey said.
"Our prayers are with him right now," he said.
Although three pets were rescued, three cats died in the fire, which the department brought under control within 15 minutes.
The house sustained heavy smoke damage and moderate fire and water damage.
The blaze remained under investigation Sunday evening.