He spotted a two-story house in the 4100 block of South Mountain Drive on fire and a woman on the second floor banging on a window.
The firefighter was able to persuade the woman out of the window and borrowed her neighbor's ladder to help her down.
"A Godsend for her," Garner Fire Deputy Chief Tim Herman said. "He put the ladder and coaxed her out of the window and she climbed down and he assisted her coming down the ladder."
The woman was the only person inside the house when the fire broke out.
She was taken to WakeMed with unknown injuries.
The flames were so intense that it took firefighters from the Garner and Fuquay-Varina fire departments about 20 minutes to get the blaze under control. The roof of the house suffered the most damage.
"The whole second and third floors are heavily damaged," Herman said. "We did have fire coming through the back side of the house."
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.