UNION - A Union County man is being hailed as a hero after helping to rescue his neighbor from a burning house.

The man heard his neighbor, a 41-year-old woman, screaming after a fire broke out at her Meister Avenue home. The woman was trapped by the fire in a second-floor bedroom.

The man was able to find a ladder to help his neighbor escape the fire. According to firefighters, he also prevented her from re-entering the home to retrieve her cats.

The woman was treated for smoke inhalation at St. Barnabas Hospital.

Firefighters say the home was so cluttered that it was hard to get inside and battle the flames. They say the incident serves as a reminder of the dangers of letting too much debris pile up.