HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A retired Hartford police officer attended the college graduation of a young woman he saved from a burning home in 1998.

In 1998, Hartford police officer Peter Getz responded to a fire at an apartment at 194 Washington Street in Hartford. The apartment was fully engulfed.

Getz and other responding firefighters had to crawl to find then five-year-old Josi Aponte and her uncle. When she was found and they emerged from the building, police say there wasn’t an ambulance at the scene, so Getz put Josi in his patrol car, and drove her to Hartford Hospital.

“It was a really tough time for my mom because we just came from Venezuela. My father died, as well, and my cousin he died that night, as well, and she thought that she was going to lose me. I’m her only daughter and it was a very tough time, but I’m here and it’s all thanks to Peter,” said Josi.

“We weren’t going to wait for an ambulance, we were that close to the hospital. So, I decided to take her, we did CPR on her and I had a partner drive the cruiser, we brought her to Hartford Hospital and they did their magic,” said Getz.

Getz retired from the force 13 years ago.

The two have kept in touch since Josi found him on Facebook a few years ago. She graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University this week, Magna cum ladude. She invited Getz to attend. She is now hoping to get her Master’s Degree and become a CPA.