He says he always helps out whenever he can, wherever he can and Christian Prado happened to be in the right place at the right time to save a young woman from the burning wreckage of car on Monday morning in Calgary.

On January 29, Prado was heading southbound on Crowchild Trail in Lakeview at about 1:45 a.m. when he spotted a car crashed into the trees, completely ablaze.

“My reaction was to stop right away and run to the car to see if there was anybody there. Suddenly we hear somebody screaming, asking for help. I went all the way to the car and it was a girl in the passenger side.”

The girl was 21-year-old Alexis Mellross. She was in the passenger seat of a vehicle that lost control and rolled down an embankment.

With the flames quickly encircling the vehicle, Prado said that he had to work quickly to get her out.

“I cut the seatbelt with my multitool. I pretty much carried the girl away from the car. I don’t know how much she weighed or how tall [she] was, but my reaction was just to grab her and take her away and walk away from the car on fire.”

He says the flames were so hot and so high that he couldn’t stay nearby for very long, but he never thought about being hurt himself.

“I didn’t think about if it was going to explode or anything happening to me. My reaction was to make sure nobody was there and, if possible, to save a life,” he said. “Five or ten more seconds for me to get there and she wouldn’t have made it.”

Prado, who works as a landscaper and does snow removal in the winter, says he was told by emergency crews that it was lucky that he was there.

“The fire department and the police told me that that road isn’t too busy even in the night time. It’s Lakeview area. So she was lucky we were there, in that time, in that moment, because otherwise, there’s not anyone around.”

Sgt. Colin Foster, with the CPS Traffic Unit, says that Prado was in the right place at the right time and is definitely a hero.

“Anybody who goes to anybody’s assistance is a hero. My understanding is that the gentleman was actually going to another motorist’s assistance or what he thought was a broken down motorist when he actually saw the other vehicle so, he’s a Good Samaritan and he did a great job.”

He does caution anyone else when coming across a similar situation.

“Your safety is paramount. It’s no different than us going to incident. We’re out to make sure that our safety is paramount so that we’re safe before we can go and help somebody else. In this situation, he did a great job. He was able to extract the passenger and bring her to safety.”

Foster says that if Prado hadn’t made it to the scene when he did, Mellross could have been very seriously injured or even killed.

“All I can say is to thank him for being a Good Samaritan and helping out when it was required.”

Prado says that he always likes to help out anyone who needs assistance.

“That’s what I do. I try to help people, anyway, anyhow. Even in that kind of situation.”

As for the young woman who he saved, he says he’d like to meet her when she gets out of the hospital.

“I would like to meet her and see if she remembers me and see what she remembers from that moment. To be honest, I don’t remember her face, I don’t remember anything about her.”

Mellross’ parents, who now live in Mexico, rushed back to Calgary when they heard about the crash involving their daughter.

They say she suffered a neck injury in the crash but will likely be released from hospital on Thursday.

They are forever grateful for Prado’s quick actions and believe it was a miracle that he came along when he did.

The driver of the vehicle involved in the crash, a woman in her 20s, unfortunately died at the scene.

Foster says the victim’s name has not been released as they are still waiting to hear back from the Medical Examiner.

Alcohol and speed were factors in the crash.

(With files from Shaun Frenette)