Firefighter reunited with girl he helped save 8 years ago

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More than eight years after a house fire in Indianapolis, one firefighter can't forget the little girl he met inside that burning home.

Sunday, for the first time - they met again.

Mya Eppert was only 8 months old in 2006 when a fire tore through her home on the 1300 block of Medford Avenue. Private Kevin Gill was on the scene that day and heard there may be a baby inside. On hands and knees, he searched the home, finding Mya in her crib - though at the time, part of him actually wished what he'd found was only a doll.

"When I picked her up, her head rolled back and that's when I knew that this was a child."

When they made it out, she was rushed to the hospital - lifeless. All these years later, Mya isn't lifeless anymore.

PHOTO: IFD Private Kevin Gill reunited with Mya Eppert eight years after he helped save her from a house fire at her home in 2006

Sunday, they reunited with a big hug, some photos and gifts - and of course, a thank you.

"It's been some years of wondering how she's doing, where she's been," said Gill. "Now, she's very vibrant and full of life and full of smiles. Full of great joys and memories."

Mya was placed in foster care shortly after the fire. Her adoptive parents said the blessings haven't stopped since and it was Mya who wanted to meet the man who gave her a second chance.

"She was riding home with her daddy one day and said that she wanted to meet him, so it was time," recalled Lore Eppert, Mya's mother.

PHOTO: Mya's family brought a photo album showing Mya's life over the past eight years for Gill to look through

Quiet, but thoughtful, the now 9-year-old Mya didn't have much to say. But a giant hug was all her hero needed - Gill called the reunion the highlight of his career.

"We're called upon to make a difference in someone's life. Something's happened and we are going to make a difference."

Gill has three daughters of his own - and two grandchildren - and still serves as an Indianapolis firefighter. He also said now that he's been reunited with Mya, he plans to stay a part of her life.