Bagpipes played and members of New York's bravest cheered, as firefighter Rob Wiedmann, 38, walked out of New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center where he battled back from critical injuries he sustained in a raging Brooklyn fire just days before Christmas.

"I never thought anything, that I wouldn't walk out of here one day," said the 14-year FDNY veteran at a press conference before he headed home with his family to Long Island. "It took three months, but I knew I would do it."

And so did his wife Cathy.

"He's very strong, very determined. He's always been that way, so I had no doubt. Between that, and our wonderful Heavenly Father, with all the faith we have, I knew he'd be okay," said Cathy Wiedmann.

On Dec. 19, Wiedmann was searching the top floor of a burning brownstone in Crown Heights when hot gases from the fire exploded. Covered in flames, he staggered to a front window where he dropped onto an aerial ladder. Another firefighter grabbed him and pounded on his back to put out the flames. The father of three, who was burned over 54 percent of his body, was the most seriously injured of the five firefighters hurt that day. He spent 13 days on a respirator and underwent 10 skin grafting surgeries. In addition to facing months of more physical therapy and operations, Wiedmann will also have to work on healing from his emotional wounds.

"For a lot of the three months, he wasn't really aware of anything," said Dr. Palmer Bessey, of the Hearst Burn Unit at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. "And so he still has to process that."

Wiedmann, assigned to Rescue Company No. 2, vowed to return to his job.

"I hope so. I'm trying my damnedest," said the father of three from Long island.

Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano thanked Wiedmann for his leadership and inspiration.

"Rob's commitment, his courage, his dedication, his perseverance to recover has given every member of this department an uplifting spirit of hope," Cassano said.