WHEN Travis Hunt heard kids screaming in his street, he thought it was just another Harlaxton fight kicking off.

But when he looked out his window he realised it was much worse.

"This is a pretty ghetto neighbourhood so I thought someone was having an argument, then my partner screamed, 'Fire'," he said.

Mr Hunt ran into the street to find his neighbour's house in flames and a group of children throwing rocks at its windows, trying to wake the occupant.

"That wasn't working so I ran to the back door and went to kick it in," he said.

"As I have tried the flames have pushed me back.

"It was impossible to get in there so I ran to the street and pulled the kids back.

"There was not much we could have done."

The fire started in the Doyle St home, about 11.30pm Wednesday, and it claimed the life of Dave O'Dowd.

Mr Hunt said the windy night fanned the flames and within minutes the fire was out of control.

His family reported feeling its heat at their home, three doors down.

"It was so quick," Mr Hunt said.

"Within a blink of an eye it was gone."

While a normal person would run away from a fire Mr Hunt said he was known as a smooth operator during a crisis.

"My initial reaction was to help whoever was inside, but there is not much you can do in a fire," he said."

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