Brave firefighter rescues baby from burning house, 17 years later, he attends her graduation
Out of the countless fires this retired fire fighter has battled, the most memorable one involved a baby that he saved 19 years ago.
In 1998, Mike Hughes, captain of the Wenatchee Fire Department in Washington, dashed inside the burning house to save an infant from her crib.
“Our engine pulled up and the whole interior part of the house was burning heavily,” Hughes told ABC News.
“The door to the bedroom was partially open and she was in her crib just squirming so I snatched her up and got her to the front door and handed her off to the first firefighter who was there,” said Hughes, alluding to the 1998 fire.
This 1998 fire rescue made the headline in a local newspaper, showing a photo of Hughes clutching a baby in his arms.
If he were 20 seconds later, it would have been a different story.
The day of the rescue was still vivid in Hughes’s mind. He couldn’t forget it, and often wondered how that baby he saved had been progressing in life.
His curiosity prompted him to look for Dawnielle Davidson on Facebook. He found her and left her a message: “I think I pulled you out of a fire when you were a baby.”
Davidson had little idea of this incident, but, upon confirmation with her mother, she struck up an acquaintance with her savior from when she was a seventh-grader seven years ago.
“I was just kind of confused at first. I didn’t know any of this had happened,” she told TODAY.
Seventeen years later, in June 2015, Davidson invited the brave captain who saved her life to attend her high school graduation ceremony in Wenatchee, Washington, as the guest of honor.
Watching the girl he saved walk across the stage, receiving her graduation certificate, brought tears to Hughes’s eyes.
Davidson embraced Hughes during the graduation ceremony. She is extremely grateful for his bravery.
“It’s a miracle that I did come out of that [fire],” said a tearful Davidson in an interview with TODAY.
“I feel like I owe him so much. It’s just amazing that I have got to meet the guy who saved my life. I just can’t thank him enough. There are way too many words to describe how much I could thank him,” she said.
“That’s what my career and the fire service is all about,” Hughes told ABC affiliate KOMO.