MANCHESTER, Conn. (WTNH) — A middle-school teacher is being praised as a hero Thursday after she saved a man from a burning van.

A man Manchester Fire Rescue EMS has identified only as John was driving down Main Street when he smelled smoke, and then saw fire coming from his dash, according to authorities. He stopped his vehicle on the Interstate 384 ramp, where the car burst into flames.

The fuel tank ruptured, which led to the fire’s growth. John, who uses a wheelchair, was not able to get out.

Heather Sica Leonard, who teaches at Illing Middle School, was on the ramp at the same time. She stopped and was able to get John out of the van.

“Her actions averted an almost certain fatal outcome and prevented anyone from being injured,” Manchester Fire Rescue EMS posted on Facebook. “Well done Heather!”

The fire department posted a picture of the fire, of the charred remains of the van, and of Leonard and John posing together.

Heather Leonard is being praised as a hero after saving a man from a burning van. (Source: Manchester Fire Rescue EMS)

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection responded to the scene to coordinate cleanup after to help with the fuel spill, which went down a storm drain.

As of about 7 p.m. Thursday, more than 300 people had reacted to the photo, and it had been shared more than 50 times.