Mobilebooth West – StoryCorps
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30 Years After Carrying Her Out Of A Burning Building, A Firefighter Tells The Woman He Saved: “You’ve Carried Me Through Tough Times.”

Los Angeles County firefighter Derek Bart first came to StoryCorps in 2020, just hours after receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis.

He stepped into the MobileBooth to reflect on his 33 years of public service and how he wanted to be remembered. But there, he thought of someone else, an 8-year-old girl he’d met early in his career, when he responded to a house fire.

Los Angeles County fire captain Derek Bart at his firehouse. Courtesy of Derek Bart.

Shortly after his first recording, Derek found out he’d been misdiagnosed, and that he was going to live. So he came back to sit down for another StoryCorps conversation, this time with Myeshia Oates, the woman who he saved nearly three decades ago.

Top Photo: Myeshia Oates and Derek Bart at their StoryCorps interview in Santa Clarita, CA on August 23, 2021.

Originally aired September 24, 2021, on NPR’s Morning Edition.