Everyone loves it when someone who works in public service goes beyond the call of duty.

Mike Hughes, a retired firefighter in Wanatchee, Wash., recently went to the high school graduation of a girl he rescued from a blaze 17 years ago in a gesture that seems to be growing in popularity.

Hughes found Dawnielle Davison, then nine months old, in her crib, overcome by smoke inhalation. He said, "The room was full of hot smoke. Another 20 seconds and it would have been a different outcome."

Hughes tracked Davison down on Facebook about seven years ago and they have remained connected since.

Davison certainly realizes the enormity of Hughes' efforts and without her she may have died. When discussing the fact she made it to graduation, she said, "Really emotional. I don't know really how to describe it, they're happy tears, to realize some things could have gone wrong."

Hughes was certainly pleased to be there for Davison on her big day. "This was a special, special deal. This is a rare occurrence, the way this situation worked out."