SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A grateful friend and city fire officials would like to thank the hero who saved a man trapped in his bedroom surrounded by a wall of flames, in San Francisco’s Forest Knolls neighborhood.

The fire broke out in the 400 block of Warren Drive shortly around 12:30 p.m. Moments before the fire crews arrived, a quick-thinking man with a white van jumped into action.

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The hero put a ladder on the roof of his van and guided the resident to safety.

A short time later, fire officials tweeted that the fire had been contained and that someone helped rescue one resident from the building.

Video posted by the SFFD showed a man being helped from a second-story window with a ladder that had been set against the building from the roof of a van.

A second clip showed flames coming out of the same window just after the rescue happened.

Although the first engine arrived within 3 minutes, if it wasn’t for the hero, the victim may not be alive.

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“I’m glad he was there. He stopped everything he was doing to save a life. What can you say, he’s a hero. He helped save my friend’s life,” said Benjamin Francis.

“Just seconds after this man was rescued from this window, the fire ball would’ve killed this person or most definitely caused severely injured this person.” added SFFD Lt. Johathan Baxter.

Fire officials said a lit cigarette started the blaze as the victim fell asleep. A smoke alarm woke the resident up so he can at least open his window and call out for help.

Francis says his friend is a bit shaken up but well.

“It was scary. It was really scary, but when I text him I said things don’t matter, your life does. Just glad that he’s still alive,” he said.

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Andrea Nakano contributed to this report.