About 17 years ago, firefighter Mike Hughes rescued a baby girl from a blazing house fire.
On Saturday, he watched her graduate high school.
Though Hughes fought countless fires and rescued even more people throughout his career, his third rescue — the 9-month-old baby he pulled out of a crib as her house burned down — always stuck in his mind. It was rare for a rescue to go so smoothly; everyone emerged alive and unharmed.
Over the years, Hughes kept tabs on the girl, Dawnielle Davison. They spoke on Facebook, and Hughes even attended some of her track meets for support.
But earlier this month, Hughes, who is now retired, received a message from Davison: She asked him to come to her high school graduation.
He told ABC News,
She sent me an invitation [to her graduation] so I thought, 'By golly, I'm going!' It meant an awful lot to me. I was really happy.
The graduation was held at Davison's Wenatchee, Washington high school on Saturday, and for both Hughes and Davison, it was an especially emotional event.
She said words to the effect of, 'I wouldn't be here if it weren't for you and your crew.' She was the third person I'd pulled out of a fire in my career, so I always say the third time is the charm. That's what my career and the fire service is all about.