A man sleeping on the couch in a house in Happy Valley-Goose Bay barely escaped from the burning residence early Sunday morning.

Derek Lewis, 24, woke up around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, choking on smoke after a fire started in the chimney.

Crista Lewis, his sister, said she had also been living in the home up until a week ago.

She said her brother tried to get the flames under control before fleeing from the home.

"He tried to put it out but he couldn't, and he had to run out of the house. All he was in was his boxers," Lewis said.

"It's emotional. I could've lost my family. The house is gone, but it's just objects that can be replaced. My brother is more important."

Two other people were living in the home but were not there at the time.

A pet cat died, while two dogs escaped through a window.

The family has recovered one of the dogs, but a medium-sized dog named Titan is still missing.