It was an emotional reunion as a Maryland brother and sister pair embraced a retired firefighter, 58 years after he rescued them from a flaming home.
"Thank you for just doing your job, and I hope we can remain friends forever," said Michael Hart, 61, during the Tuesday ceremony held at the Prince George County Fire Department.
Michael was just 3 years old when retired firefighter Stu Newman, 84, rescued him and his sister from a devastating house fire in August 1959.
Michael and his younger sister, Linda Hart, who was 2 at the time, were taking a nap upstairs, when a fire broke out in their home, according to spokesman Mark Brady of the Prince George's County Fire Department.
Their mom had been doing laundry downstairs when she noticed the smoke, but couldn't get to her children upstairs in time.
Instead, she ran into the street and called for help. A county police officer and firefighters Stu Newman, who just recently started working at the department, and Carl Hartman responded to the scene.
Newman was able to climb a ladder leading to the rear of the house, and reach 2-year-old Linda, whom he was able to safely bring to paramedics.
He later found 3-year-old Michael, who was in much worse shape.
"I just knew he wasn't breathing well," Newman said, according to an interview with NBC. "So I took my mask and gave it to him."
The siblings were taken to the hospital, where they were treated for smoke inhalation. Over the years, the life-changing incident became nothing more than a story passed on by aunts and uncles.
A few months ago, Michael was rummaging through a box of family memorabilia, when he came across a newspaper clipping of the event.
He then realized the two firefighters were named, and took to Facebook to track them down.
Eventually, a Facebook friend recommended Michael reach out to Brady, the fire department spokesman, with his story.
"Of course I recognized Stu Newman's name — anybody who has been with the Prince George Fire Department for any amount of time would have known him," Brady told InsideEdition.com.
Firefighter Hartman, however, died several years ago.
In front of friends, family, and the Prince George Fire Department, the Hart siblings and Newman met for the first time on Tuesday, nearly 60 years after the brave rescue.
Michael even invited the 84-year-old retired firefighter out to lunch with his family, as a gesture to continue the friendship.
"[Newman] remembers that incident like it was yesterday," Brady said. "When a firefighter saves children, it's something you never forget."