An Orleans man is being praised for his act of bravery after running into burning row home complex in Orléans and trying to save a man inside.

The rescue happened during a massive fire on Melette Crescent near Scala Avenue on Saturday around 4p.m.

Geoff Walker said he pulled over while driving in Orléans when he noticed smoke pouring out from the row home complex at 2083 Melette.

He said he sprang into action when he saw families rushing from the end unit where the smoke and fire appeared to be heaviest.

“I started pounding, probably starting at 2087 as hard as I could on each door, trying to notify everybody that there was a fire,” said Walker.

At the final unit he noticed a cat and a dog that needed to be rescued. Walker said he picked up a large garden stone and threw it through the front door window to gain access inside.

Walker said he ran inside with another man in a green construction shirt. He said this other rescuer ran upstairs and discovered an unconscious man lying in bed.

“I decided to go up and was shaking him trying to wake him up and tell him what was happening and you know what, he wasn’t responding, so I just grabbed him by his arms and pulled him off his bed,” said Walker.

Firefighters soon arrived and took over the rescue.

“We say thank you, said Danielle Cardinal with Ottawa Fire. “We also remind people to try and keep themselves out of harm’s way. We do realize sometimes circumstances have them act because they know someone may be in danger.”

Walker said his instincts took over.

“I think I would have been doing the opposite of what my gut was telling me if I hadn’t, I mean there are people, I’ve got a family at home and I would expect or hope someone would do that for us if we were in the same situation,” he said.

Now Walker is hoping the man in the green construction shirt will hear this story and connect with him.

“I came back the next day because I was trying to figure out who he was because for me, it meant something… just to say thanks - that’s a connection that happened over the unfortunate circumstances but obviously for the better.”