An off-duty auxiliary firefighter has rescued a man from a burning house south of Cairns in far north Queensland.

Tim Kingston says he noticed smoke coming from his neighbour's house at Edmonton around 6:00pm (AEST) last night.

He ran inside after switching off the mains and power, and found two men.

One of the men left the burning house on his own, but the other man was disoriented.

Mr Kingston says he helped get the man to safety, then tried to put out the blaze, but it quickly grew out of control.

"It does cross your mind when you go into a structure that goes up in flames without the correct PPE, you do think, 'do I walk out of this alive or walk out of this with an injury'," he said.

"But mate, I didn't think about that when I went in.

"Just did my job, did everything to the best of my abilities and emergency services turned up and they took over."

Firefighters managed to extinguish the fire in about half an hour.

Mr Kingston says he does not regard himself as a hero.

But Cairns South station officer Royd Kennedy says Mr Kingston should be commended.

"He demonstrated the true qualities of a firefighter, even though he was off-duty," he said.

"His actions were above and beyond actually because he entered a structure in a high-risk environment and without a doubt saved a person's life.

"So his actions are admirable and I hope he gets the right recognition for his actions from the right people."

Auxiliary firemen work part-time for the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service in regional areas.

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