SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — A discharged Navy veteran from Virginia Beach is being credited as a lifesaver after he ran into a burning home to rescue a victim.

The fire broke out before 10 a.m. at 55 Tamarack Drive in Saratoga Springs. Police say one woman at the house died after flames and smoke spread through the living room. A second victim was transported to Syracuse Upstate Medical Center to be treated for burns.

Fire officials are still investigating the cause, though a witness reported that a window-mounted air conditioning unit had appeared to catch fire.

Damion Hedington, 24, is visiting his girlfriend's grandparents in Saratoga Springs, and he had just woken up when flames shot out of the window of the neighboring home. Hedington, who heard screams from the home, told police that he kicked down the door and ran upstairs to retrieve a dazed man who was standing near the doorway.

"The guy was standing at the top of the staircase, just spinning around like he was lost," Hedington recounted. "And I grabbed him by his hip and walked him down the stairs."

The man's name was not released, but he was listed in critical condition on Thursday evening.

The couple owned eight dogs. According to police, four perished in the fire. The remaining dogs were recovered and taken to the Northway Animal Emergency Clinic for treatment.