A family was rescued from a house fire Monday by a former volunteer firefighter who spotted the flames.

John Griffith was driving with his girlfriend in Burlington when they saw a house on fire off E. Victoria Ave.

"The whole front of the house was up in flames," said Griffith. "The family was in the back yard, but couldn't get to the front."

A wall of fire was in their path.

Noticing the flames were heavier on one side of the house, he ran the other side where a fence was blocking two women and a little boy.

"I kicked the fence down so they could get through," he said.

"He's a hero," said local teacher Ally Dahl.

Her voice was full of emotion as she talked about the boy Griffith helped save.

"I have three kids. That's what I thought about," Griffith said.

Burlington Fire Chief Levon Yengoyan said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.