An OC Transpo bus driver is being hailed as a hero after he saved three people from a fire in Vanier, east of Ottawa's downtown core.

Peter Paquette was driving the number 5 bus on Lavergne Street when he saw smoke coming from the third-floor window of an apartment building.

Paquette, who is a former firefighter, stopped the bus, alerted his dispatcher and ran into the building, leaving his passengers onboard.

He ran up to the third floor and kicked in the door of the unit affected, helping three tenants escape.

Firefighters arrived as the bus driver and tenants were evacuating the building. Fire crews managed to contain the fire to the kitchen of the third-floor unit.

The tenants and Paquette were treated for smoke inhalation. Paquette is now resting at home.

The mayor has personally thanked him for his courage and quick-thinking, which helped save the lives of three people.