Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was called to attend a house fire in Trentham Street, Helmsdale at the weekend (Saturday 23 January 2016).
Operations control received a call at 4.30pm on Saturday with reports of a house well-alight with thick black smoke from coming from the ground floor.
Appliances from Helmsdale, Dunbeath and Golspie attended the scene. The officer-in-charge was informed there was one person still inside the property.
Firefighters immediately entered the building wearing breathing apparatus to tackle the fire and search for the occupant. Working in extremely challenging and arduous conditions the fire crews rescued one male person from the building.
Whilst the fire was still being tackled with hose reel jets and main jets crew members also carried out a search for two missing dogs and rendered first aid to the casualty who was in a very serious condition.
Approximately 20 firefighters were involved at this incident and remained at the scene until 8pm. The male casualty was transported to hospital via air ambulance but sadly died.
It was also confirmed that two dogs were also found within the house and unfortunately did not survive.
Commenting on the fire, Incident Commander Ricky Dibble said: "This was obviously a very difficult and serious fire to deal with but the fire crews worked tirelessly throughout.
"Their professionalism is to be commended as the rescue was carried out quickly and effectively in extremely adverse conditions."
Group Manager Antony Gardner added: "The fire crews demonstrated exemplary levels of courage and compassion in attempting all that was possible to save the gentleman’s life.
"Our thoughts are now with his family and friends. There is a fire investigation ongoing to identify the cause."
SFRS offers every householder in Scotland a free Home Fire Safety Visit and if your property does not have a smoke alarm the service can provide one free of charge during that visit.
To arrange a free visit call 0800 0731 999, contact your local fire station, or text "FIRE" to 80800 from your mobile phone.