By Gary Nelson

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Crews from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue were honored on Thursday for saving the life of a man trapped in a house fire.

Antonio Villa was thanking the firefighters at Miami-Dade Station Four for saving the life of his son, 36-year-old computer technician Anthony Villa.

“There is really no words to thank the guys behind me for what they did. They did an amazing job. Their training is excellent obviously, and if any piece of the puzzle doesn’t fit, it’s over,” he said.

When firefighters got to the younger Villa’s home Friday night, he was essentially dead.

They found him not breathing, his heart stopped, after fighting their way through a roaring kitchen fire and smoke they could not see through.

Rookie firefighter Dan Montanez, just eight months on the job, found Anthony Villa by feel in a bedroom and helped administer CPR and powerful drugs that brought him back to life.

It was Montanez’s first lifesaving experience.

“It’s such an amazing feeling that I can’t even describe. This is exactly what I got into this job for,” Montanez said.

He will likely do it again.

“What happened Friday night is something that happens every single day, our firefighters going out there risking their lives to save lives,” said Miami Dade Fire Rescue Chief Dave Downey.

Antonio Villa is a Miami firefighter. He’s saved a few lives along the way.

“It’s tough to describe that feeling, when you go back to the hospital and you see that person talking, thanking you, and now I am on the other side and they just gave me a great Christmas gift,” he said.

Anthony Villa and his family lost everything in the fire. If you would like to help his family, visit this GoFundMe page.


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