Seventeen years ago, firefighters responded to a house fire in Wenatchee, Washington. The fire was large and difficult to control. When the firefighters arrived on the scene, they did not know that a baby was in the house, trapped in her crib which was surrounded by fire.

Mike Hughes, a retired Wenatchee firefighter, was at the scene that day and had a feeling that someone was still in the house, so he went inside to search. In the first room Hughes checked, he found a 9-month-old baby girl in a crib, overwhelmed by smoke inhalation.

“The room was full of hot smoke…another 20 seconds and it would have been a different outcome,” said Hughes.  “This was a special, special deal. This is a rare occurrence, the way this situation worked out.”

This event impacted Hughes so much that, seven years ago, he tried to connect with the child he saved. Hughes found the girl, Dawnielle Davison, on Facebook, and they have kept in touch since then.

Now 17 years later, Hughes reunited with Davison at her high school graduation. Davison wanted the person who saved her life to be with her on this milestone.

Sometimes Davison finds it hard to believe that it was her who was rescued, but she is grateful.

“[I’m] really emotional,” said Davison.  “I don’t know really how to describe it, they’re happy tears, to realize some things could have gone wrong.”

Jowelle M. is a college student interested in sociology, political science, and Spanish. Aside from academics, Jowelle enjoys blogging, reading, music, and spending time with family. She is happiest when she is working with others to improve the community.