Twenty-three years ago, a firefighter rushed into a burning home in Poughkeepsie with two young brothers inside. One of them died in the fire, but the other, a 3-year-old, was rescued, and over the weekend, he reunited for the first time with the man who saved him.
William Porter is now retired and that little boy, Jacob Tsukroff, is now 26 years old. In a meeting arranged by Porter's daughter, the former Arlington Fire Department firefighter embraced with Tsukroff at the Poughkeepsie Elks Club on Sunday, LoHud first reported. They had only one brief exchange since that life-altering fire but Porter said the incident left an impact on him.
"It was one of the biggest calls that stick to my mind, one that had never really had closure to it. I always wondered how he was," Porter said.
Before Porter retired two months ago, on the anniversary of the fire, his daughter Jessica Scalamandre wanted to give her father that closure so she tracked Tsukroff down.
Get Tri-state area news and weather forecasts to your inbox. Sign up for NBC New York newsletters.
Tsukroff thanked the man who carried him out of his burning home on Mainetti Drive in 1998, according to LoHud. He said he doesn't really remember that tragic day, but he had kept a teddy bear that Porter had given him and had always wanted to meet the firefighter.
Another firefighter carried out Tsukroff's brother, Daniel, who later died. Tsukroff says his parents never really talked about the fatal fire in details until recently. On Sunday, the two families cherished Daniel's memory and made a toast to him.