THE BRONX, NY A 65-year-old dad is dead after officials say he re-entered his burning apartment to hunt for his stepdaughter – who was not even home.

According to authorities, the fire started in a third-floor apartment and luckily the man escaped the flames but went back in the burning building searching for his stepdaughter who had tragically snuck out with friends hours earlier.

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Learning of her hero father’s death the stepdaughter said, “He thought I was inside and he died trying to save me.”

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the fire. No other injuries were reported.