When taxi driver Hassan Chahrouk spotted a burning house in Merrylands last year, he hit the brakes.
As flames and smoke billowed from the Como Street home, a distressed young woman pointed frantically inside from the front lawn.
Without hesitation, Mr Chahrouk leapt from his cab and followed her finger into the flames to save the day, emerging minutes later carrying an 87-year-old wheelchair-bound great grandmother, who had been unconcious inside.
‘‘There was no stopping me from going in,’’ recalled Mr Chahrouk, 45.
‘‘Then the police arrived and the fire brigade arrived, so I continued driving and dropped off my passenger.’’
Today, the father of five received a commendation for his act of bravery from the Commonwealth Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove in the Australian Honours bravery awards.
Asked if he’d do it again, the 45-year-old said he ‘‘absolutely’’ would, ‘‘without a doubt’’.
‘‘If you can help somebody, you do it,’’ he said.
Hassan’s daughter, Jehan Chahrouk, 12, of Wentworthville, said she was very proud to call Mr Chahrouk her dad.
‘‘I’m very proud of him and I’m very glad nothing bad happened to him, he’s just a really good dad,’’ Jehan said.
A spokesman from Holroyd police thanked Mr Chahrouk for his heroic efforts on behalf of the local area command.
‘‘Without his assistance, the outcome of this event could have been tragic... Anytime someone is prepared to go and help their fellow man, it deserves recognition, so on behalf of the police, thank you very much,’’ the spokesman said.
The elderly woman was treated at Westmead Hospital for smoke inhallation and recovered from the ordeal.