He says don’t call him a hero, but the passengers who got off Thomas Parker’s burning bus on the Sydney Harbour Bridge think he is exactly that.
In the midst of flames, traffic chaos and potentially toxic smoke, the bus driver’s only concern was keeping them safe.
He has now spoken for the first time from his unique viewpoint on what happened on September 15.
It was the frightening blaze that brought Sydney to a standstill – a public bus, engulfed in flames on Australia’s most famous bridge.
As the bus ignited, the safety of passengers and others drivers was in Mr Parker’s hands.
“It was horrific," he said.
“It was getting hot. I was worried it was going to go up."
Mr Parker said he first noticed the problem in his mirrors.
“So I started to slow down and it flared up, and I thought, ‘oh my god, it’s going to be big',” he said.
“I opened those doors up and said 'evacuate'. I was watching everyone leave ... [but] because [of] the smoke I could not see.
“When I was the last one on that bus, all I thought was that I wanted to get home to my wife and my little boy now, that’s it.”
His cool-headed action has been universally praised but his wife only found out when he sent her this selfie.
“Normally she’s busy on the phone and I can’t get through to her,” Mr Parker said.
“I thought, ‘this will get her attention’.”
Passenger Lisa Brett paid tribute to Mr Parker.
“It could have been so much worse had he not got us off when he did,” she said.
Mr Parker’s first concern was for the passengers but he was also worried about the Sydney traffic surging past, and what an explosion might mean for the bridge itself.
He pulled over only when he was safely through the main arch.
NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance commended the driver for his actions.
"The best thing is he put public safety first and foremost - he put others before himself," Mr Constance said.
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union's Chris Preston was also glowing.
"Tom's actions that day ensured that nobody was seriously injured, so I'm very proud of Tom," he said.
Mr Parker, however, rejected the hero label.
"I'm not a hero. I don't feel like a hero," he said.
"I'm just fulfilling my position as NSW Government employee – just there for the public."