As a trained firefighter, Buddy Harwood is no stranger to saving lives. But he went above and beyond the call of duty when he interrupted a road trip in Canada with his girlfriend to get involved in a dangerous roadside rescue.
The 20-year-old from Athenree was driving to the resort town of Whistler with Stephanie Saxton in June when he saw smoke and then a car that had flipped, rolled down a bank and caught on fire.
Mr Harwood slammed on his brakes and ran to the crashed car. He saw a terrified little boy peering out a window and heard his desperate screams for help.
He said when when he first arrived he thought "it could blow" and so stood back. "But then I heard banging and I looked down and it was a young kid screaming ... You just cannot walk away from that," he told the Herald.
Mr Harwood and another motorist worked quickly to get the boy and his family out of the car.
He cut the driver from his seatbelt using a knife tossed to him by a bystander and then went to rescue the three in the back. An elderly man was hunched over another child, and a woman was trapped.
"The fire reignited - that's when it started to get really nerve-racking," Mr Harwood said.
"The flames were starting to travel up and above us, it was pouring through the dashboard into the car. It was getting really close.
"I reached in and grabbed the last person, the mum, and yanked her out and just ran. Then the car exploded. We were just in time."
When Mr Harwood spoke to the Herald, he downplayed his bravery.
"It's a situation that had to be dealt with. We've got to do what we've got to do," he said.
It was not the first time Mr Harwood had featured in the Herald for heroism.
Last year, he rescued a woman trapped in her car during heavy flooding near Waihi Beach.
Buddy Harwood - For risking his life to save a family of five trapped in a burning car.