20 years after rescuing her, retired detective becomes special guest at a young woman’s graduation in Connecticut

The fire broke out in an apartment in June 1998, which belonged to Josibelk Aponti's uncle Jofrey. She lost her cousin in the accident while she herself suffered third degree-burns.

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Then and now: Getz and Aponti Hartford Courant Image source: Independent.co.uk

A Connecticut detective was invited as a special guest in the graduation ceremony of a woman. If this seems strange, it can be traced back to 20 years before, when this detective rescued a five-year old girl from a terrible apartment fire.

Two years back in 2014, Josi Aponti, who is now 23 and a graduate, used the internet and social media to trace her guardian angel, Retired Detective Peter Getz. Josi used Facebook to find her savior as she felt that Peter is the reason that she is alive today and that he must be present at her commencement ceremony.

The fire broke out in an apartment in June 1998, which belonged to her uncle Jofrey. Josibelk Aponti (her proper name), lost her cousin in the accident while she herself suffered third degree-burns.

Flashback of the fire. Image source: Independent.co.uk
Flashback of the fire. Image Source: Independent.co.uk

Instead for waiting for assistance from hospital or an ambulance, Mr Getz took the unconscious girl into a car and performed CPR on her while his partner, Sgt. Donnie Camp, drove at high speed to reach the nearest hospital.

According to a NBC News report, after the Eastern Connecticut State University commencement at the giant XL Center, a sports arena in Hartford, Ms Aponte said, “I’m told that if he would have just waited a few more seconds for the ambulance to come in, I could have died.”

“There are only a few moments that are so important in life. I wanted to share my graduation with everyone who’s important to me, who have been there for me, and who helped me through tough times,“ Josi said.

Mr Getz and Sgt. Camp got featured in a Throwback Thursday post, when people posted old photographs on social media last year in 2015, reminding both of them of the tragic and chaotic day.

“I am honored and humbled to be depicted here on TBT. I take my hat off to the brave and heroic members of the Hartford Fire Department that entered the active fire, located Josie and brought her out. Thank You,” Mr Getz replied to that post last year.

This incident made him a hero to one grateful family but even today he remains modest of that day.

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