Officer who saved a girl from a fire in 1998, now retired—he’s invited to a very special moment

December 14, 2017 1:55 pm Last Updated: December 16, 2017 1:26 pm

Our neighborhood superheroes like firefighters and cops save people every day. Whether it is a small situation or a serious crime, these people take care of the issue at hand.

These heroes encounter multiple people, so how could they remember all the lives they saved? One police detective, Peter Getz, grew close to a little girl he saved from a fire in Connecticut.

In 1998, Josibelk Aponte was 5 years old and trapped inside a burning apartment with her uncle. Getz was the one to quickly get her out of the building.

Not only did her hero rescue her from a fiery building, but he saved her life by performing CPR in the back of his car while she was being rushed to the hospital.

Getz explained to the Hartford Courant that he stayed in touch with the family, but a few years passed by and he lost touch. Getz was unsure if she remembered him, but one message answered that question.

10 years later, Getz gets a Facebook message!

The 24-year-old girl does not remember a lot, but she explained to Hartford Courant that “Every once in a while I get nostalgic and I want to know what happened . . . so I did what everyone does: I Googled my name.”

After further research and “Facebook stalking,” she found Getz. Seeing her name in his inbox surprised Getz.

“Honestly, a lump came in my throat,” Getz said, describing to the Washington Post how he felt when Aponte reached out.  “I mean, I always remembered her.”

Contrary to what Getz might have thought, Aponte cares about the man who saved her life. She told Hartford Courant that she still has the teddy bear that he gave her when she was in the hospital.

The two meet up regularly and catch up with each other.


Getz and Aponte catch up on family and school over food, but their conversations may become more career-focused, since Aponte has accomplished something great and hoped for Getz to be there.

Aponte wanted to be surrounded by people who are important to her during her 2016 graduation she told Hartford Courant, “[people]  who have been there for me, and who helped me through tough times.”

Getz fits that description perfectly.

She expressed to Hartford Courant that, “I almost died, but I was given a second chance at life,” she said. “And it was because of Peter and all the authorities, everyone who came to help that day.”

Getz was excited to witness her graduation.

“To see the outcome, to see how successful she’s been, makes my heart beat faster,” Getz said.

Getz has nothing but love for Aponte, who has nothing but gratitude for Getz.

“Not many people can or are willing to put themselves in danger to save others,” she said to Hartford Courant.

“It’s because of people like Peter and all of our police officers and firefighters that I’m alive.”