Wenatchee firefighter reunites with baby he saved 17 years ago

WENATCHEE, Wash. - A firefighter who saved a baby from a house fire 17 years ago joined the rescued girl for her high school graduation Saturday night.

The fire was out of control - and firefighters had no idea when they arrived on scene - a baby was trapped in her crib, surrounded by fire.

"The room was full of hot smoke," retired Wenatchee firefighter Mike Hughes says. "Another 20 seconds and it would have been a different outcome."

Hughes had a hunch, and found the 9-month-old girl in her crib, overwhelmed by smoke inhalation. It was the first roomed he checked.

"This was a special, special deal. This is a rare occurrence, the way this situation worked out," Hughes says.

So special that seven years ago Hughes was compelled to connect with the baby he rescued a decade before.

Hughes found Dawnielle Davison on Facebook, and they've stayed in touch ever since.

"For some reason that doesn't feel like me," Dawnielle says. "It's really hard to believe some times."

On the day of her graduation, Dawnielle wanted the man who helped make it possible for her to be here to be there too.

"Really emotional," Dawnielle says. "I don't know really how to describe it, they're happy tears, to realize some things could have gone wrong."

Dawnielle says she had only heard bits and pieces about the fire. She had no idea it was heavily involved, and that most people don't survive them. She says getting through that makes her feel like she can cope with what life has in store for her.

"It started out a little bit rough, but she's made it all the way through high school now, so she's successful and happy," Hughes says. "So I think that's perfect."