A Cambridge man is recovering in hospital after firefighters rescued him from a burning basement apartment on Sunday.

Emily Fortin and Brandon McCutcheon were watching TV around 3:30 a.m. when they heard strange noises.

“We heard beeping, like a smoke alarm and then we heard yelling,” said McCutcheon.

When they went outside they spotted smoke coming from 360 Melrose Street.

A fire had broken out in the basement apartment. The homeowner, who lived in the upper part of the house, was unable to get inside the bottom unit because of the fierce flames and thick smoke.

The man who lived inside the apartment was trapped.

“He was screaming for his life,” said Emily Fortin. “We were just standing outside listening to him beg for us to come and get him but the smoke was just too thick. We couldn’t do much about it. It was just awful listening to that.”

Firefighters eventually pulled the man from the burning the apartment.

He was initially taken to Cambridge Memorial Hospital with serious injuries but was then transferred to a hospital in Hamilton.

Everyone else inside the home escaped safely.

Investigators and the Ontario Fire Marshall are still trying to determine the cause of the fire.

Damage is estimated between $50,000 and $70,000.