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Hawaii family thanks firefighter who saved daughter's life

LOS ANGELES (KCAL/CNN) - A Los Angeles firefighter is being honored for saving the life of a little girl while he was on vacation on Maui.

The girl and her family flew up to California to say thank you in person, and there were plenty of hugs and tears at the reunion.

"We are beyond blessed and grateful that heroes are among us."

The hero in this story is firefighter and paramedic Daniel Harris. He was off-duty on vacation in Hawaii when 4-year-old Sophia nearly drowned in a hotel pool.

"After about three to four minutes of trying to resuscitate her, I could feel her heart beat," said Harris. 

"He saved me," said Sophia. 

"Daniel saved her and when I got my daughter back, it became the best day of my life," said Sophia's father, Thomas Rouse. 

Little Sophia made a quick recovery. Her family flew in from Hawaii Tuesday just to meet Harris.

The two families bonded forever, through an unlikely situation.

"Every birthday, there won't be any occasion like that that passes where I won't think about Daniel," said Rouse. 

"It was heart-dropping just to see her walking around," added Harris. "She is walking because of the efforts that I had that day." 

For his brave actions, Harris was awarded with a commendation at the reunion.


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