More than a decade after he saved her life, retired Hartford Connecticut police detective Peter Getz held his memory of the little girl from the fire close to his heart – unsure if she even remembered him. Little did he know she would change his life once again, this time with a ping in his inbox. 
According to the Hartford Courant their story started back in June of 1998, when Josibelk Aponte was trapped inside a burning apartment with her uncle. Aponte was rushed out of the building by a first responder and thrusted into detective Getz's arms, the stunning moment captured on camera by Courant photographer Al Chaniewski. Getz performed CPR in the back of his car as his partner rushed the two to the hospital – saving her life.

Getz told the Courant he stayed in touch with the family for a few years after the fire, but eventually lost touch. Then one day more than a decade later a message from Aponte was sitting in his Facebook inbox, “Honestly, a lump came in my throat,” Getz said, describing to the Washington Post how he felt when Aponte reached out.  "I mean, I always remembered her".

A great friendship formed between the two. Over the years Aponte and Getz have shared numerous lunches, talking about her school work and his family. Then, just a few weeks ago Getz got to witness a major milestone in Aponte's life, her college graduation: "To see the outcome, to see how successful she's been, makes my heart beat faster," Getz said to the Courant.

"Not many people can or are willing to put themselves in danger to save others," Aponte told the Courant "It's because of people like Peter and all of our police officers and firefighters that I'm alive." 

Watch the moving video below to see Aponte and Getz's story come to life.