Published: Nov 20, 2012 11:29 PM EST

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla.-A Bonita Springs man is alive Tuesday night after firefighters pulled him from a burning apartment.


It happened off Bonita Beach Boulevard on Dovewood Court.


Fire officials believe the fire started when the man fell asleep smoking a cigarette and his mattress caught on fire. A neighbor called 911 when she smelt smoke. Firefighters had to break through two locked doors to get to him.


"A little longer and the whole building might have been on fire and he wouldn't have made it," Lt. Richard Scott said.


Firefighters said the rescue was a close call and the man's neighbor saved his life.