TULSA, Oklahoma - Firefighters said a man who died in a fire at the Royal Arms Apartments saved lives by calling 911.

On March 31, 2016, the apartment under 25-year-old Avery Pittman caught on fire and left Pittman and his dog, Maddie, trapped.

His family said Avery was always helping others and that he was gentle, kind, brilliant and a man of God.

Avery’s brother Ben Pittman said, "Avery was truly just one of a kind."

Ben said his brother was so humble that they didn't realize until this week that he’d graduated summa cum laude from OSU, but never told anyone.

Avery just completed a physician’s assistant program at OU and got a job with an orthopedic surgeon. The day before he died, he was helping a friend who had cancer.

His family said Avery wanted to devote his life to helping others.

"He emulated Christ's love for others and he epitomized what it meant to have a Christian heart and a Christian love for others," Ben Pittman said.

The family said they’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people who said Avery touched their lives.

"To see the number of people he touched, and the people he will touch and continue to touch through his legacy is beyond comprehension," Avery’s brother said.

Rather than spend their time wondering why Avery was taken at the age of 25, they choose to celebrate his life and will start a foundation in his honor.

The fire marshal said the fire was accidental and was cook top related.