FERGUSON, Mo. – The Ferguson Fire Department believes a space heater is to blame for a deadly fire on Ruggles Road on Saturday afternoon. An elderly man was rescued but his son did not survive.

Neighbors said the family used a space heater underneath a back deck to keep their dog warm.

“We believe the source of this fire was, in fact, a space heater,” Ferguson Fire Department Assistant Chief Jeremy Corcoran said.

Corcoran said the home was also lacking working smoke detectors.

Firefighters were able to help both men exit the home but the son died later from some inhalation. Neighbors said the elderly father was caring for his son, who had been receiving hospice care.

The rescue comes the same week St. Louis firefighter Benjamin Polson died. He was killed entering a vacant house fire while making sure no one was trapped inside.

“It’s on all of our minds,” Corcoran said.

He said Saturday’s call is a reminder of why firefighters do what they do.

“We will continue to do what we do and serve the people that count on us to protect them,” Corcoran said. “That’s what firefighters do on a day-in, day-out basis.”

He credited Captain Aaron Brockhorst and firefighter Chad Mezzera for saving the elderly man’s life.

“They made quick and decisive actions to find and retrieve both of those gentlemen and get them out of the house,” Corcoran said.

He hopes the public will follow the manufacturer’s instructions if using a space heater. He said to make sure nothing is near them that could catch fire. Avoid using space heaters in areas where a child or pet could knock them over and avoid using extension cords that could overheat.

The family dog survived. The pet was revived by using a specially-designed oxygen mask. The Ferguson Fire Department has been equipped with those masks for approximately 10 years.