As Art De La Garza, a long-time Duty Crew member of our department and Houston Fire Department Captain/Paramedic, was headed home Christmas Morning from a night in SE Houston he saw a column of smoke, and like most Fire Fighters, headed towards it. Upon arrival heavy smoke was found coming from a 2-story house and neighbors advising of a female resident who lives alone unaccounted for. With no personal protective equipment, and no fire companies yet on scene, Art forced the front door finding heavy smoke conditions throughout. Despite these conditions Art entered to attempt a search for the resident given the deteriorating conditions. Crawling into the burning house Art located the resident near the base of the stairs and began dragging her towards the front door. As he neared the front door he was met by HFD Engine 70 who completed the removal of the occupant as Art assisted with the deployment of attack lines and patient care. Despite his valiant efforts to offer every chance for survival unfortunately the occupant succumbed to her injuries at the hospital. His efforts showed exactly what the fire service is about. No matter deteriorating fire conditions, no personal protective equipment, no hose line and no assistance Art never hesitated to go in and do everything possible to locate and remove the resident despite his own personal risk.