Mark Collum is a commercial fisherman in Rowley, Massachusetts, who sprang to action.
CNN  — 

A man who lost his family in a fire 20 years ago is being hailed as a hero for saving his neighbor from a fire at her home.

Mark Collum, a commercial fisherman in Rowley, Massachusetts, sprang to action Sunday when he heard the call for help.

“I heard ‘Fire! Fire!’ and I just threw my clothes on and just, out of reaction, saw her in the kitchen milling around,” Collum told CNN affiliate WCVB.

“I just grabbed her and just took her out. I had a little smoke in my lungs, same with her, so we just kind of took her outside and things worked out well. Thank God.”

Collum rescued his neighbor from her burning house.

Authorities are still unclear as to what caused the fire.

CNN was unable to reach Collum on Monday.

Collum told WCVB that fire still resonates in him after he lost his wife, Lisa, and his two young girls, ages 3 and 5 months.

In 2001, they were trapped on the third floor of their Ipswich apartment house during a fast-moving blaze, according to an article from the Boston Herald. Lisa dropped the infant out the window in an attempt to save her, but the baby died at the hospital, the Herald said. The Ipswich fire chief said at the time that firefighters did not see a fire escape.

Mark Collum was not home at the time of that fire, WCVB reported.