A newspaper delivery man called authorities to report a house fire and dragged a gunshot victim found outside to safety early Tuesday.
"I didn't see anyone at first, until the guy was hollering, 'Help! Help! Help!" said Ronald Hudson.
Hudson dragged the man, identified as 44-year-old James Succi, to the curb while they waited for Orange County Fire Rescue crews to arrive. The home is on Quincy Woods Lane in the Meadow Woods subdivision near State Road 417 and Landstar Road.
Orange County deputies said Succi was shot several times, and then his house was set on fire around 4 a.m. The home was already fully engulfed in flames when crews arrived. Succi was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center in critical condition.
An Orange County Sheriff's spokesman said, About an hour later, Succi's red Chevy Impala was found about 9 miles away on Sandy Oaks Lane. It appears to have been stolen and was also set on fire. Investigators do not believe that this was a random act of violence.
No other victims were inside the house, but a dog died in the fire, fire rescue spokesman John Mulhall said.
Neighbors said Succi lived alone. "Everybody knows him from just being a good, lovable person, always watching out for everybody's house," said Jomar Landraw.
Hudson said it was "an act of God" that he happened to be at the right place, at the right time when he saw the fire.