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Teen reunites with firefighters who saved her life when she was 3-years-old

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A 14-year-old girl had an emotional reunion Wednesday.

She met the Milwaukee firefighters who saved her life when she was only three.

Her name is Kiara, and the Oct. 30 meeting took place at the firehouse near 26th and Scott on the south side. 

Back in 2008, she was trapped in a burning home when firefighters rescued her. It's taken 11 years, but she finally got to say thank you in person.

"Well I've always really wanted to meet them after I got adopted," said Kiara. "I've always wanted to meet them, and it just turned out that my dad met a firefighter and it all worked out."

The memory of that rescue 11 years ago remains incredibly vivid for the people who were involved. Some of them have been retired or promoted. The last time they saw Kiara, they were pulling her from the second story of a burning house. 

The long-anticipated reunion brought tears to Kiara's mother's eyes. 

"It's hard to hold in your emotions when you know that somebody has saved your daughter," said her mother, Paula.

Kiara was the one who asked to set up the reunion, and once it happened, she said the meeting overwhelmed her. She was only three, but her memories of the night of the fire haven't left her.

"I remember me waking up coughing," she said. "I really didn't know what to do because I was alone."

Kiara loves to bake, so she brought her rescuers homemade cupcakes. They gave her a tour of the fire engine.

"We're very proud of her. We are. That she has been able to process things to this point, because this was an extremely traumatic event, among other things in her life," Paula said.

The picture they took together will be framed in Kiara's room, as a reminder of how her life was forever changed and what these firefighters do every day. 

"I'm glad to see she's such a sweet and smart and fun lady," said retired MFD Captain Ann Sardina. "I'm very glad to meet her."

Kiara wants to become an advocate, inspiring other kids to overcome adversity like she has.

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