FDNY firefighter reunites with woman he saved 16 years ago

Anissa Cruz, who is now a firefighter herself, presented Stephen McNally with her fire academy graduation coin as a thank you for saving her

By FireRescue1 Staff

NEW YORK — An FDNY firefighter reunited with a woman he saved from a fire 16 years ago, who is now a firefighter herself.

NY Daily News reported that Anissa Cruz, 21, presented Stephen McNally with a coin she got after graduating from the Indian River State College Fire Academy at an emotional reunion at the Engine Company 75/Ladder Company 33.

In 2002, McNally saved Cruz from a fire at her family’s apartment that resulted in the death of her father.

McNally received a medal for his heroic response to the fire, which included going back into the residence twice to save Cruz and her mother.

“It’s so overwhelming,” McNally said. “I’m just so happy. I’m happy with her situation, and what she’s done with her life. She’s out there trying to make a difference. Seeing her now and what she’s done with her life, it’s special.”

“Even though I lost someone in that fire, I wanted to give back. I wanted to give someone else a second chance. I wanted to give someone else the second chance Steve gave me,” Cruz said. “Instead of fear, I grew from it.”


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