STOCKTON -- A Stockton man is being hailed as a hero after he went into a smoke-filled house and rescued a 14-year-old girl.

Fifty-eight-year-old Gordon Rupp tells The Record of Stockton (http://bit.ly/TIeHs2) he was at home on Thursday afternoon when he heard glass breaking and saw smoke rising from the garage of a neighboring home. He rushed over, alerted the woman inside and took her and a 3-year-old out.

A few minutes later, he learned someone else was inside -- a girl who was in the shower and didn't know the house was on fire. Rupp, a former assistant fire chief, said he went back in, grabbed the girl as she came out wrapped in a towel and ran out.

Fire officials say the girl could have died.

The home was completely destroyed. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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Information from: The Record, http://www.recordnet.com/