CUPERTINO, Calif. (KTVU) - His lunch break turned into a rescue mission. Aram Harutyunyan's friend recorded the entire thing on his phone, as the Good Samaritan pulled a nearly unconscious man from a burning vehicle.
It happened on June 11th in a Cupertino strip mall off Bollinger Road.
Smoke was rising from the car, heat began to make the tires blow, and Aram Harutyunyan moved in to get a closer look.
"I wasn't sure what I saw. I saw a leg. I was sure about that," says Harutyunyan.
And so while others watched, Harutyunyan rushed to the burning car, dragging out a nearly unconscious man.
"Actually you're not really thinking anything. You're more concentrating on the fire because I was thinking it was going to blow up any second," says Harutyunyan.
The rescue was actually captured from two angles. Harutyunyan's friend recorded one. The HSBC bank's camera caught the other. You can see just how quickly the car became engulfed.
"By the time the firefighters came, the car was completely on fire. So I think it was just a matter of seconds," says friend, Leo Pekker who recorded the video.
According to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department, the man in the car, Aman Matoo, was highly intoxicated. They believe Harutyunyan's quick thinking likely saved his life.
"We want to give him a commendation. We have a plaque. We will make sure he's recognized for his heroics and bravery," says Sgt. James Jensen from the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department.
Harutyunyan says he appreciates the thought, though he shies away from the term hero.
"Hero. Hero is big word, of course. You've got to do something magnificent to be a hero," he says.
This, he says, was simply the right thing to do.
"I didn't think twice. He needed help, you've got to help him," he says.
The driver, Aman Matoo has since been arrested on suspicion of DUI, and for arson, since authorities believe damage to the nearby bank and to a pickup truck were the result of his negligence. As for his health, authorities say he declined medical treatment at the scene.
Watch VIDEO of the rescue here: