NEW YORK (AP) — A Virginia nurse has been reunited with the New York firefighter who saved her from a burning building nearly 40 years ago.
Deirdre Taylor, who is working in New York to fight the coronavirus pandemic, was reunited Monday with retired FDNY firefighter Eugene Pugliese, 75, the New York Daily News reported.
Pugliese, a Vietnam Marine Corps veteran, said he remembers saving Taylor and her mother from a burning building in SoHo like it was yesterday.
“I didn’t even have gear on,” Pugliese said. “I had a helmet and an ax. We took the elevator up and we went to the floor below. We went upstairs. The hallway was pretty well charged. There was a lot of smoke.”
Taylor said she thought she would never have the opportunity to thank Pugliese for his bravery.
“The fire obviously shaped the rest of my life,” she said. “I always knew I was given a second chance at life. The copy of the Daily News was in my keepsake binder since I was a young child. I’ve always had a copy of the cover.”
Pugliese said that he also has had a copy of the front page story that he hung on a wall with the valor medal he received and some Yankee memoralabilia.